Mike Carrier was born in 1934. He moved to Cumbria in 1964 and spent his working life as a railway man. Mike developed an enthusiasm for both fell-walking and the bird-life of his adopted county. He talks us through many of the changes he has observed in the populations and distribution of many bird species.
Mike recalls that in the ‘60’s the Lapwing, Golden Plover and Meadow Pipit were common sights whereas today these are much in decline. However, he also notes the increase in numbers of Peregrine, Merlin and Buzzards.
Mike tells of the loss of ground-nesting species of bird on the fells and attributes this to the loss of a managed heather habitat as well as the increase in tourism.
He talks about the early impact of forestry, especially in Ennerdale, and the effect of introducing non-native species.
Mike also relates the way that some birds, such as the Ring Ouzel have adapted to changes in land management.
“The motorway has allowed in enormous numbers of people to come to the Lakes very quickly. I can remember walking the high fells in the sixties and seventies all day with my dog and never meeting a soul…. You can’t do that now. I can understand why, its a most splendid place. But it brings its own pressure and the pressure are people. But birds need peace and quiet and they haven’t been able to get that recently”