I HAVE the greatest respect for the view which Hilary Fenten puts forward (Craven Herald Letters, Oct 29) but I must point out to her that there is another way in which to view the situation which she outlines in her letter.

Whilst there may be local variations in numbers of birds at different sites across the national park, I can say that our habitat and species surveys show that overall the numbers of Black Grouse and Curlew here are not declining and, in the case of Lapwing, have actually been increasing.

This is in stark contrast to most of the rest of England where numbers of Curlew, for example, have fallen dramatically.

Where there are such declines the primary reasons are certain agricultural practices, not the visitors to the countryside. The Dales can be both a stronghold for these iconic species and a place for people to enjoy at the same time.


Ian McPherson 

Member Champion for the Natural Environment, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority