The breeding population of woodpigeon in Britain is reckoned to be over 8 million birds. Over the past forty years the population has been steadily increasing in Britain, primarily as a result of changes in farming practice, namely the wide-scale planting of winter oilseed rape. Rape is now the staple diet of the woodpigeon in the winter, but before it was so commonly grown large numbers of pigeons would perish in cold winters due to a lack of food availability.   Woodpigeons are gener