Rural cuts 'threaten wildlife' in Shropshire

Conservationists are warning that potential government cuts could lead to some species disappearing from the Shropshire countryside.

Many farmers in the county are paid to leave land uncultivated so it can be preserved as a habitat for wildlife, including rare birds.

But the "set-aside" budget is likely to be reduced in the autumn.

Kirsty Brennan from the RSPB said it could mean "all the good work could be easily lost".

Land left for wildlife under such schemes across the country was equivalent to about 200,000 football pitches, she added.

Ms Brennan said: "Our worry is that if people weren't able to continue this agreement once they have expired or get into the schemes as readily then all the good work will be easily lost."

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