Skip to main content

First Schedule—(Wild Birds And Their Eggs Protected By Special Penalties)

Volume 526: debated on Friday 9 April 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

I beg to move, in page 14, line 13, after "Corncrake (landrail)," to insert:

"Crossbill, common (in England and Wales only)."
I raised this matter in the Committee, and the noble Lady was kind enough to say that she accepted the principle. After discussion, it was clear that while it is desirable to put the common crossbill into the First Schedule and to give it the fullest possible protection in England, where it is rare but has prospects of extending if protected from the egg collectors who are frequently after it, that is not the case in Scotland.

I hope that the Amendment will be acceptable to the noble Lady, as it deals with the situation both in Scotland and in England and Wales in order to give protection to the bird in the area where it most needs it.

I shall be very glad to accept this Amendment. I know the hon. Gentleman's view of the First Schedule, which is intended to give occasional and temporary breeders a chance to establish themselves as breeders in this country. The common crossbill is in this category in England, but in Scotland it is well established.

Amendment agreed to.

I beg to move, in page 14, line 14, after "Roller," to insert "Ruff and Reeve."

The ruff and reeve are beautiful birds which once nested in this country, and may do so again. I moved a similar Amendment in the Committee, when the noble Lady very kindly offered to consider the question before the Report stage. That is the reason why I have put down the Amendment. I have a very great affection for these birds, particularly as many years ago I read about their interesting habits in Julian Huxley's "Essays of a Biologist."

I shall be very glad to accept the Amendment. In the First Schedule the ruff and reeve are rightly included, because they are potential breeders. The main purpose of the special penalties for birds in the First Schedule is to ensure that birds in this category have a chance to establish themselves as regular breeders. The ruff and reeve are rather scarce. They are protected throughout the year by 37 counties in England and Wales, and by only one county in Scotland. The Amendment would give them assistance, and make the Bill consistent with waders having been taken out of the Third Schedule.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 14, line 32, leave out "Ruff and Reeve."—[ Mr. Hayman.]