Counting birds on the farm
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/