Devon County Council, Teignbridge District Council, Torbay Council and the RSPB have worked together to produce new guidance about cirl buntings in relation to development.
Cirl buntings are an iconic species in Devon. A population crash in the 1980s, caused by changing farming practices, resulted in almost the entire UK population being restricted to south Devon. The species have distinct requirements for breeding and wintering habitats, which includes traditional farmland which can provide food all year round. Their restricted range is almost exclusively between Exeter and Plymouth. Cirl buntings do not travel far between their breeding and wintering habitats, and therefore good quality habitats are essential for their survival.
This document outlines when surveys are necessary, what level of mitigation to recommend and the future needs of ongoing monitoring.
The document can be downloaded here.
For more information about cirl buntings, and the story of the fight against their decline, visit the RSPB website.