Sir – George Ross, in his most informative and thought-provoking article on upland waders (The Scottish Farmer, March 16) highlighted once again the threats faced by these increasingly rare birds in our countryside.

Some of the dangers faced by these birds are familiar enough (although that is not to say that anything is being done about them) but Mr Ross also highlighted other threats which may not be so well known, like undergrazing and expansion of woodland areas.

As the government strives to increase the area in Scotland under trees, it should perhaps reflect on his words of advice.

There are many farmers as well as organisations, like Working for Waders, which are doing a huge amount of work to try and preserve waders. But, if these beautiful birds are to stand a realistic chance of survival against all they currently have to put up with in terms of habitat and predation, then the government needs to become more pro-active in setting out financial as well as practical measures to help farmers play their part in saving them.

Mr Ross’ article should provide a timely warning as well as sound advice for any government initiative.

Colin Strang Steel