Winter stubbles, particularly weedy stubbles like the one shown here, have traditionally provided a source of food for farmland bird populations throughout the winter months. However, as a consequence of the decline in arable farming in Wales and the increased use of pesticides where cereals are still grown, there are fewer and fewer stubbles available to sustain our wintering farmland bird populations.
One aim of the Living Wales programme is to detect changes in the number and type of winter stubbles in the Welsh landscape. Despite the dependence of farmland birds on weedy winter stubbles, there is no legal requirement or protection for this habitat.
We are particularly interested in learning the locations of winter stubble fields, whether there are plants growing between lines of stalks, whether stock are present in the stubble fields and, finally, whether the fields are attracting birds.