Our three commonest species of bunting, Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting and the Yellowhammer, have all suffered strong declines in recent decades, but one species has seen an upturn in its numbers following a severe and drastic decline. The Cirl Bunting was once a widespread bird found across much of southern England, but by 1989, a little more than 100 pairs of this pretty bird survived ,and virtually all of these were restricted to south Devon. Thanks to the efforts of Natural England and the RSPB, a large amount of research and conservation work has been carried out. As a result the bird, although still restricted in range, has seen its numbers climb steadily and there are now about 900 pairs. It is still under threat, but the steady increase in numbers is an encouraging sign.