Counting birds on the farm

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

The Big Farm­land Bird Count (BFBC) is back for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year. Farm­ers, land man­agers and game­keep­ers are be­ing urged to set aside time from to­mor­row (Fri­day) un­til Sun­day, Fe­bru­ary 18 for the count, which is run by the Game & Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Trust (GWCT). Many farm­ers and game­keep­ers love to see barn owls, bullfinch, lap­wing, grey par­tridge, tree spar­row and yel­lowham­mer on their land – the BFBC is an op­por­tu­nity to tell the wider world about the birds on farm. It only takes 30 min­utes to take part in the count, and founder Jim Egan is hop­ing for a big turnout. He said: “A great num­ber of farm­ers and keep­ers are do­ing tremen­dous work to boost farm­land birds and other wildlife. “As well as plant­ing seed mixes to pro­vide win­ter feed, they also leave weedy stub­bles over­win­ter, man­age hedgerows so as to leave berries for food and sup­ple­ment this by putting out mixed seeds and grain on tracks and field mar­gins,. “How­ever, not ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ates the ex­tent to which farm­ers and keep­ers are man­ag­ing ex­ist­ing habi­tats and cre­at­ing new ones specif­i­cally to help our farm­land birds. Now is the time to change all that.” Guy Smith, vice-pres­i­dent of NFU, said: “This year’s Big Farm­land Bird Count pro­vides farm­ers with another great op­por­tu­nity to show that we are fully en­gaged with con­ser­va­tion. “I would en­cour­age as many farm­ers as pos­si­ble to get the binoc­u­lars out, dust off the notepad, sharpen the pen­cil and get record­ing as you go out and about on the farm.” Last year, 970 farm­ers and keep­ers took part and recorded 112 species across 900,000 acres.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit https://www.gwct.org.uk/ farming/big-farm­land-bird­count/tak­ing-part-in-the­count/

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