What Farmers and Lapwings can teach business – The Property Chronicle
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What Farmers and Lapwings can teach business

The Farmer

The highest recorded age to which a Lapwing has lived is 24 years and 6 months, in Denmark, with the runner up, also a Dane, and “killed by man”, greater than 23 years and 7 months. More often they live for five or six years, breeding for perhaps four of these. This charismatic wader exhibits philopatry, returning to the fields in which they were born to nest themselves. Studies of this behaviour show second year birds pushed outwards from the original nesting areas and the older birds holding the exact locations of previous nesting success. The picture is more complex than this, but the most successful breeding birds tend to hold the best territory. Age is thus a factor in nesting success. Observations suggest that a minority of pairs can produce a majority of the young, an example of the old 80 : 20 law. But no rules in nature are hard or fast, and a ringing return that was bought to my attention was of a bird born at Elmley on the North Kent Marshes that was found during the following breeding season east of the Urals in Russia. As philopatry applies to an estimated half of the population, “going off with a Russian bird” is clearly a possibility for those that disperse.

The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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