Monday, 22 December 2014

Guest Blog: If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well

Image by Peter Thompson
by Chris Baylis, LEAF Farmer from Sutton Estates

Our awareness of the importance of conservation has increased dramatically over the last decade and there is little negativity from stakeholders in the agricultural industry and general public towards our efforts to safeguard the surrounding biodiversity - we know it’s a job worth doing! The Big Farmland Bird Count is a fantastic initiative that helps recognise and celebrate the work that the farming community do to help farmland bird numbers.

As a LEAF Demonstration Farm we are no stranger to taking part in valuable initiatives and we join in not only because it’s a great way to show how the birds are faring on the farm but also as a way for us to contribute to the bigger picture: It helps to demonstrate the considerable conservation measures being implemented by UK farmers, which is important for us to promote. Joining in the count and having access to the valuable statistics it collates also helps us to communicate the key Integrated Farm Management (IFM) messages to the visitors we welcome on to the Estate.

On this Estate 10% of our total area is devoted to conservation including; 25 acres of wild bird mix, 37 acres of pollen and nectar strips and 28 owl boxes in name but a few. We took part in the 2014 count and recorded 40 species in out half hour look which included Tree sparrow and Lapwing to name just two. We would encourage farmers to join in the BFBC and start celebrating their conservation achievements as we know through our own conservation efforts that it is ‘worth doing’ and we feel taking part in the Big Farmland Bird Count ensures we are ‘doing it well’.

Farmland Bird ID Days

Ahead of the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count we're running 10 farmland bird identification days around the country in January. Places are strictly limited to 20 per day and you can book your place here.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Guest Blog: RSPB delighted to support Big Farmland Bird Count

by Richard Winspear, Head of Technical Advice, RSPB

The RSPB is delighted to support the Big Farmland Bird Count, running from 7th to 15th February, which is a fantastic initiative to get farmers looking out for and enjoying the birdlife on their farm. If you struggle to tell your house sparrow from your tree sparrow, GWCT and RSPB have jointly produced an identification guide to help you put a name to the ‘little brown jobs’, which you can download here.

For those of you who are more accomplished birdwatchers, it is an opportunity to take stock of what is using your farm and think about what measures you might use to support them through the winter, and the summer too, if they stay to breed.

It is fascinating to see with your own eyes what GWCT and RSPB researchers have proven over the years. For example, you are more likely to turn up a flock of finches or buntings, or a covey of grey partridges, if you walk around a wild bird seed mixture or overwintered stubble field, especially if this field did not receive a pre-harvest glyphosate application. If you come across a large flock of birds at this time of year, it proves you are doing something right. Can you work out what they are feeding on? Exploring how farmland birds are using your farm through the winter is useful to understand how you might help them, and is also quite fun.

You might find a true wildlife spectacle, as birds flock together in hundreds at this time of year wherever there is an abundant source of seed food. The sight of several thousand birds, including 700 corn buntings (3% of the British population) taking off from a 10ha stubble field in Bedfordshire will live with me forever. Hope you have a great day!


Download your FREE Farmland Bird ID Guide

Our FREE colour ID guide contains images and descriptions of the following birds:
  • Grey partridge
  • Red-legged partridge
  • Starling
  • Yellowhammer
  • Skylark
  • Meadow pipit
  • House sparrow
  • Tree sparrow
  • Linnet
  • Reed bunting

Monday, 1 December 2014

Guest blog: If you can't measure it - you can't manage it

by Guy Smith, Vice President, NFU

Measuring and recording things is very much part of modern farming. Rain in the gauge, min and max temperature, kilos used, hectares covered, dates, rates and time - they all go into our record books, spreadsheets and smartphones. It's all information that helps us better understand the complex working environments of our farms. We record things such as milk and grain yields so we can better understand our performance as farmers. It's data like this that enables us to improve our management as we go forward. 'If you can't measure it - you can't manage it' is an old adage that still rings true.

But curiously we seldom think to apply this discipline as farmers to the biodiversity on our farms even if we are tasked to try to improve our conservation work. Our knowledge of what species we have on our farms tends to be a bit random. We might make a mental note when we are out and about in the tractor, especially when something unusual flaps across the eye-line but we don't often treat it as data we ought to log. Consequently while many of us have a good knowledge of the wildlife on our farms, we lack the stats to back that knowledge up.

And that's why I'm a big fan of the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count. It encourages us to get in the habit of applying a bit of science to the challenge of farmland conservation just as we apply science to the challenge of improving milk or wheat yields. It also encourages us to look harder at the biodiversity of our farms so we understand it better.

The other great thing about the Big Farmland Bird Count is that, through the good auspices of the GWCT, all the information can be pulled together so we can piece together a vital national snapshot of the state of the nation when it comes to farmland birds.

I often hear farmers grumble that while they are quietly proud of how much wildlife they have on their farms they get fed up with reports in the media that modern farming is bad for birds. I can understand the frustration but to my mind the answer is, don't just be proud - be loud. So, come next February get the binoculars out, dust off the note pad, sharpen the pencil and get recording as you go out and about on the farm. Then post your results to GWCT. We're always interested in how many tonnes of wheat we can get to the hectare, now let's systematically record how many bird species we can achieve per farm.

Take part in the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count

Simply click here to register your interest in taking part. Everything you need is free to download from our website.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Guest blog: BASF delighted to be sponsoring Big Farmland Bird Count

by Graham Hartwell, Environmental Stewardship Manager, BASF plc, Crop Protection

We at BASF are delighted to be continuing our sponsorship of the Big Farmland Bird Count and are very much looking forward to the launch event on 5 December that will be kindly hosted by Patrick Barker at Stowmarket.

I'm also keen to share in the enthusiasm of the GWCT, RSPB, LEAF and FWAG Association in support of the farmland bird ID days planned for January.

That so many farmers responded to the 2014 Big Farmland Bird was testament to the good work and farm management that many farmers have already carried out to help farmland bird numbers.

I hope to learn more from Peter Thompson and Patrick Barker who will keep us all on our toes with bird identification tips and their experience of "making it work" in a practical way.

Resilient habitat creation, well planned field margins and attention to detail are the recipe for success and I was particularly pleased to see so many birds recorded by the Pitts family at Mears Ashby in the BFBC results of 2014. BASF are pleased to be able to work with the Pitts family to communicate their splendid results to many visitors.

Though recent wet summers and hard winters have been difficult for many species, Andrew and William Pitts' approach to habitat creation and winter food provision have paid dividends and bring a resilience to many of the species located on their land.

Their good work is mirrored by James Hinchliffe at Rawcliffe Bridge, Yorkshire who has also made it work for him on his land. As he enters his 12th year of data collection I'm hoping his computer behaves this year and allows him to record his data too - we are already seeing good sized flocks of 'little brown jobs' on the field margin strips.

James will be hosting a training day at Rawcliffe Bridge in January with the RSPB's Chris Thompson and Fraser Hugill of CFE to enlighten us - they always deliver great value and we look forward to an informative day on this well established family farm. Why not register your interest in attending an ID day, click here for details and to get your invite.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Launching the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count

By Jim Egan, GWCT Allerton Project
#BFBC on Twitter - @JimEgan08

The 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count is fast approaching and planning is now well underway. Things kick off on the 5th December with a launch event in Suffolk which will be hosted by E J Barker & Sons.

Our plan for the day is to run the first of a series of farmland bird identification days where my colleague Peter Thompson will take an invited audience through a training session to help them identify those small farmland birds that many of us struggle with.

Pete will be ably assisted by Patrick Barker who is an excellent birder; when he completed the 2014 count he spotted 44 different species in his 30 minute survey so there should be plenty to see.

There is one big new addition for 2015. Between the 12th and 31st of January we will be running 9 more farmland bird identification events at various venues across the country. We’re being supported by many partners including the FWAG Association, LEAF and the RSPB in delivery of these events and our sponsors BASF have been very generous with some additional funding.

I’m particularly pleased that the RSPB have allowed us to use their fantastic drawings to illustrate a simple farmland bird id guide that will be available on those days. Dates and venues will be announced on the 5th December and you will be able to book your place on our website.

Our reason for counting hasn’t changed; we want to highlight the good work done by farmers and gamekeepers in helping farmland bird numbers. We want to help them record the effect of any conservation work on their land and hopefully inspire them to do more!

Last year we had a fantastic response and in one of the wettest weeks on record over 500 farmers and gamekeepers took part. They recorded 116 different species; many of these are on the red-list of birds of conservation concern such as starlings, lapwing, and tree sparrow. We can’t book the weather but surely it can’t be worse than last time, hopefully this year we’ll get more than 1000 people taking part. It only takes 30 minutes and shows you care about birds on your farm – please give it a try.

Farmland Bird ID Days

Places are limited to just 20 for each of the ID days we’re running in January. Click here to register to receive your invite on 5th December.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Gearing up for the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count

by Rob Beeson - @gameandwildlife #BFBC

Although still six months away the team had a quick meeting this morning regarding the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count.

Jim Egan (@JimEgan08) is once again leading the count for us and it will be be taking place between 7th and 15th February 2015. During the meeting Jim told us he is in the process of organising 10 FREE Farmland Bird Identification Days in the run-up to the count.

These free ID days will take place across the UK throughout January and are designed to help farmers and gamekeepers improve their identification skills ahead of the count.We'll also be publishing a downloadable ID guide to assist with counting.

Register your interest

If you would like to attend one of these FREE ID Days please register your interest and we will be in touch with further details.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Twitter response to our Countryfile appearance

Twitter was alive with #bfbc tweets on Sunday night as the Big Farmland Bird Count was featured on the latest edition of the BBC's Countryfile. Below are some of the tweets from those watching:

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count on Countryfile this Sunday

Don't forget we're going to be featured on Countryfile this Sunday at 7pm on BBC1 talking about the Big Farmland Bird Count. Filming took place at our Allerton Project at the end of March and you can see photos here.

GWCT Research Conference

We'll be discussing farmland conservation with a number of guest speakers at our research conference in London on 13th May. You can book your place online, be quick though, there are only 28 places available. Find out more >

Take part in our live Twitter chat

We'll be on Twitter from 7pm on Sunday to take your questions on the Big Farmland Bird Count - just use #BFBC to get involved!

Big Farmland Bird Count Results

We'll be publishing the results of the 2014 Big Farmland Bird Count on our website at 7pm on Sunday. Sign up here to get them by email.


Friday, 28 March 2014

Big Farmland Bird Count News

We're still busy collating the Big Farmland Bird Count results but we should be able to share them with you by mid-April. In the meantime we do have some news...

Dates confirmed for 2015 count

We're pleased to announce that the dates for the 2015 Big Farmland Count have been confirmed with the count taking place between 7th and 15th February 2015.

GWCT farmland bird work to be featured on Countryfile

The BBC came to our Allerton Project farm recently to film a feature on our farmland bird research for Countryfile. It is due to air at 7pm on Sunday 13th April and the program typically attracts around 10 million viewers.

Farmland Bird ID Days

We will be organising a series of Farmland Bird ID days in January 2015 in partnership with LEAF and the FWAG Association. We will let you know more nearer the time.

Get the count results by email

If you would like the Big Farmland Bird Count results delivered to your inbox as soon as we have them then please register here.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Farmland Bird ID events coming January 2015

We're pleased to announce that we'll be holding a number of farmland bird ID events across the country next January. The events will be held just before next year's Big Farmland Bird Count, which is taking place between 7th and 15th February 2015.

We're still ironing out the details and will update you when we know more.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

An update on the Big Farmland Bird Count

Just a quick update to say that the support we've received for this brand new initiative has been overwhelming. Not just from the people who took part in the count but from the organisations and the press who have got behind us from the start.

We'd like to thank you all.

Right now we're busy collating the count results as they're still coming in online and by post. We hope to be able to announce the results in March.

If you would like to get the results delivered right to your inbox please register your interest here.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Voting now open in BFBC Photo Competition

You can now vote in our Big Farmland Bird Count photo competition. We are very grateful to all those who submitted the photos that they took whilst out counting.

View photos and vote >


Monday, 10 February 2014

BFBC: Please submit your results

The first Big Farmland Bird Count has ended and we've been overwhelmed by the response it's generated. The farming community, the press and those who are passionate about wildlife have all supported the count from the moment we first announced its launch.

As you know, the main objective of the count, other than to determine how our farmland bird species are faring, was to highlight the good conservation work being undertaken on farmland around the country.

Now we need to gather the results as quickly as possible so we can start reporting the findings whilst we have momentum. If you took part in the count please can you submit your results online.

Submit your results >


Friday, 7 February 2014

Your latest BFBC Tweets

Big Farmland Bird Count to be featured on Countryfile


We're delighted to announce that the Big Farmland Bird Count is to be featured in a forthcoming episode of the BBC's hugely popular Countryfile TV programme.

Due to be broadcast in March, the episode will feature interviews with farmers who took part in the count as well as details about the results.

Have you counted yet?

If so please submit your results online >



Thursday, 6 February 2014

Reminder: Big Farmland Bird Count ends on Friday 7th February

Just a quick reminder to say that the Big Farmland Bird Count ends on Friday 7th February so time is running out for you to conduct your count.

Once again we'd like to say a big thank you for taking an interest in this important new initiative - it has truly captured the imagination of politicians, the public and the media. It is also demonstrating the wide range of conservation work undertaken by farmers to help farmland wildlife.

As you know, we're asking you to spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm, ideally somewhere with a good view of around 2 ha of the farm.

GOT EVERYTHING YOU NEED?

If you're planning to submit your count results online all you need is this simple ticksheet to record which species you see.

Once you've completed your count you can submit your results online here.

If you're going to be returning your results by post you'll need to download the full count sheet here.

SUBMITTING YOUR COUNT RESULTS

We've made it as straightforward as possible for you to tell us your count findings. You can quickly and easily submit your results online or send them to us by post. We'll send you another email on 10th February to remind you.

ENTER OUR PHOTO COMPETITION

Don't forget you can win 2ha of wild seed mix and an advisory visit or an iPad Mini by entering our photo competition.

Simply take a photo within the area of the farm where you are counting and email it to rbeeson@gwct.org.uk or tweet us at @gameandwildlife. We will then publish the 10 best photos on our Big Farmland Bird Count blog and visitors will be able to vote for their favourite.

DO YOU NEED ANY HELP?

If you need any help with downloading the count sheets or submitting your results online please email rbeeson@gwct.org.uk or call 01425 651011.








Latest BFBC Photos - keep them coming!

Here are a selection of the photos we've received from those who have kindly taken part in the Big Farmland Bird Count. Don't forget we'll be choosing the best 10 after the count has finished and asking you to vote for your favourite.








Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A selection of your latest BFBC Tweets

Monday, 3 February 2014

Your latest Tweets on the Big Farmland Bird Count





Sunday, 2 February 2014

First count results starting to arrive

The count returns are starting to come in and among the first submitted was that of Henry Lang, who carried out the count on his 1,000 acre commercial farm at Curry Rivel, Somerset this weekend. 

In just half an hour, Henry Lang managed to locate an impressive range of birds on a 5 acre wheat field on his farm.

The field, which is surrounded by 6 metre grass margins, excellent hedges and wild bird seed crops proved a haven for wild birds and the count in this small area revealed flocks of 60 fieldfares, 20 starlings as well as blackbirds, wren, blue tit, reed buntings, song thrush, dunnock, pied wagtail, goldfinch, grey partridge and two tiny goldcrests - one of our smallest bird species.

Peter Thompson, the GWCT’s farmland Biodiversity Advisor, said, “Henry showed that, although he runs a profitable commercial farming operation, wild birds are thriving because of the wildlife habitats that have been incorporated in blocks around the farm together with supplementary over-winter feeding.

Henry is particularly proud of his 40 acres of wild flower meadows, which are now encouraging the spread of species such as marble white butterflies to different areas on his land.  In addition Henry has established 48km of 6 metre grass margins as well as recent planting of 14,000 new native trees and shrubs.”

If you've conducted your count you can submit your count results online >



Friday, 31 January 2014

Nearly 1,000 have downloaded their count sheets - have you?

Nearly 1,000 people have downloaded their count sheet for the Big Farmland Bird Count which gets underway on Saturday 1st February.

We have produced two sheets - one is a simple ticksheet to record the species and number of birds seen. This sheet is for those who intend to submit their results online.

For those who are returning their results by post we have produced a full count sheet which includes details about the farm and habitat.

Download your count sheet

Download bird ticksheet >

Download full count sheet >




Thursday, 30 January 2014

Big Farmland Bird Count in the news

We've been very pleased with the amount of positive coverage the Big Farmland Bird Count has generated in the run-up to the launch.

The farming press have been very supportive and now Countryfile and BirdGuides have published articles about the count:

Read Countryfile article >

Read BirdGuides article >


A reminder - the Big Farmland Bird Count starts on Saturday!

The long wait is over - the Big Farmland Bird Count is finally upon us so here is a quick reminder about what we're asking you to do.

Between 1st and 7th February we're asking you to spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm, ideally somewhere with a good view of around 2 ha of the farm.

HAVE YOU GOT EVERYTHING YOU NEED?

If you're planning to submit your count results online all you need is this simple ticksheet to record which species you see.

Once you've completed your count you'll be able to submit your results online here.

If you're going to be returning your results by post you'll need to download the full count sheet here.

ENTER OUR PHOTO COMPETITION

Don't forget you can win 2ha of wild seed mix and an advisory visit or an iPad Mini by entering our photo competition.

Simply take a photo within the area of the farm where you are counting and email it to rbeeson@gwct.org.uk or tweet us at @gameandwildlife. We will then publish the 10 best photos on our Big Farmland Bird Count blog and visitors will be able to vote for their favourite.

SUBMITTING YOUR COUNT RESULTS

We've made it as straightforward as possible for you to tell us your count findings. You'll be able to quickly and easily submit your results online or send them to us by post from the 1st February onwards. We'll send you another email on 9th February to remind you.

DO YOU NEED ANY HELP?

If you need any help with downloading the count sheets or submitting your results online please email rbeeson@gwct.org.uk.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mike Rae's blog about the BFBC

Birds. Many of them are small, brown, fly around (fast), are shy, and change their feathers between seasons and as they get older. Often it is difficult to identify them and counting them can be a real challenge. Most of the information on our bird population comes from thousands of volunteers identifying and counting the birds in their gardens and local area...


Monday, 27 January 2014

Stop press! Only one week left to find where on earth you put those binoculars!

Don't panic - but there is only one week to go before the big farmland bird count!

I hope that the farmers amongst you who read this blog will dig out your binoculars and get onto the farm to see what you can spot...

Read Peter Thompson's blog >

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Choosing your count location and time

We're asking people to count between the 1st and 7th February 2014 for about 30 minutes, recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm.

You can choose your own location but somewhere with a good view of around 2 ha of the farm would be ideal. You'll be asked to record the types of habitat and cropping on and adjacent to your count site to help provide us with more detail about your count location.

To see the highest number of birds we would recommend that the site includes or is close to an area of game or wild seed mix or somewhere that supplementary feeding takes place.

Ideally, counting should take place at first light as this is when the birds are most active. However, it is more important that you take part, so timings should suit you.

Have you registered for BFBC email updates yet? If not click here >



Wednesday, 22 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: A farmer's take on the BFBC

The following post has been written by Andy Roberts who farms in the South Staffordshire area and took part in our successful pilot count last year:

I'm really pleased to be involved with the Big Farmland Bird Count. I am taking part in the count to see which birds are doing well as a result of conservation measures we have put in place, and indeed those which aren't, so that we can continue to learn and improve our wild bird habitat management. 

I'm sure there will be many farmers taking part in the count such as myself who don't shoot and don't run any kind of commercial shoot on their farm.
 
The results will ultimately be used to look at trends over several years, not to contradict other long standing research like the BTO bird atlas, which I also contributed to.
 
For those of you who haven't looked it's also worth noting that The GWCT website is a very valuable source of research for conservationists and farmers with a keen interest in wildlife as well as for those just interested in game. The clue is in the name after all.

To register for email updates on all the latest count news please click here >

Get involved and show you care! An update from Jim Egan...

Having been out of the office for the last few days I spent this morning catching up with the usual inbox full of emails and the list of phone messages. One topic that seems to have dominated both has been the Big Farmland Bird Count – there are requests for farmer interviews in local and regional newspapers, requests for information from TV and Radio programmes but most importantly there have been queries, questions and suggestions from farmers who are looking to take part in the count.

We have already had nearly 400 farmers register their intention to take part.

A range of organisations such the NFU, CLA, LEAF The FWAG Association, Conservation Grade and Soil Association are encouraging their members to take part.

We want this to become an annual event and for that to happen we need all the support we can get in this first year. It’s a chance for farmers and gamekeepers to shout about what they do and hopefully it will convince others that they can do something to help birds and other wildlife on their farms.

Get involved and show you care!

Click here to register your interest >

Jim Egan
Head of Development & Training at the GWCT's Allerton Project

Monday, 20 January 2014

Care farm inviting people to take part in count

A Welsh care farm that supports and educates vulnerable and disadvantaged young people is encouraging people to take part in the Big Farmland Bird Count on Sunday 2nd February.

Set in 160 acres in Barry, Amelia Trust Farm is a working farm, registered charity & open to the public daily.

Those who wish to take part in the count can visit the farm at 10am on Sunday 2nd February - all you need are a pair of binoculars and a pair of wellies.

State of farmland bird populations discussed in parliament

The issue of declining farmland bird populations was raised in the House of Commons on 15th January by Sir John Randall, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust also received an honourable mention for our work in urging both farmers and gamekeepers to sign up to our action plan for grey partridges.

Read full transcript here >

Friday, 17 January 2014

GWCT advice on wild bird seed mixture


Modern farming leaves little residue seed for birds. So, growing a few areas of crop especially for birds will increase their chances of survival. Probably more than any other option this one is likely to produce the best pay-back in terms of wildlife in the shortest possible time. Indeed, if farmers choose to get all their ELS points with this option alone, the benefits for birds will be considerable.

As a rule, do not just adopt one seed mixture and replicate it across the farm. Use different seed mixes for different purposes. There are two main requirements:

Summer brood-rearing cover

This should be good foraging habitat for game chicks and should have as well some seed plants for finches and sparrows. These crops are best grown as strips alongside nesting cover which may be in the form of buffer strip, hedgerow or beetle bank. The plants must not create a thick impenetrable sward but provide an open network of  stems through which broods of game can forage out of sight and under cover. Millet, linseed and triticale make an ideal mix.


Winter food and shelter

The mixture for these areas should, if possible, be based on kale. It should be mixed with heavy seeding crops such as quinoa. The kale provides an umbrella of cover in winter under which the ground is kept moist and warm, allowing thrushes and insectivorous birds to feed in safety. The quinoa provides a staple for buntings and finches. These winter crops are best grown in blocks. This decreases the extent to which the crop can be damaged by deer and rabbits. ELS options for wild bird seed mixtures EF2, EF3 and EG3 are key habitats for farmland birds.

Countdown to the Big Farmland Bird Count

The Big Farmland Bird Count is now only a couple of weeks away and is continuing to generate a great deal of interest. Jim Egan, from the GWCT’s Allerton Project, said:

“The response to our Big Farmland Bird Count, which takes place on the 1 – 7th February, has been remarkable and we are thrilled that so many farmers have signed up to take part. We are also delighted that the count is being backed by many important farming organisations such as LEAF, FWAG, NFU, CLA, the Soil Association, Conservation Grade plus many others who are supporting this important initiative by encouraging their members to take part.”

Read latest press release >

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

How do I submit my count results?

We're making it as straightforward as possible for you to tell us your count findings.

You'll be able to quickly and easily submit your results online or send them to us by post.

Read more >

The information you submit will of course remain strictly confidential.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A big thank you to LEAF

A big thank you to LEAF for promoting the Big Farmland Bird Count in their recent email newsletter, we've had a great response and lots of people have registered for email updates.


If you'd like to sign up for email updates about the count you can do so here.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Farmers urged to count birds to help conservation

As featured in Farmers Weekly:

Farmers are being urged to take part in the first annual Big Farmland Bird Count and help researchers understand how conservation work is helping threatened species.

Read full article >




Friday, 10 January 2014

Which birds are we counting?

The Big Farmland Bird Count offers a simple means of recording the effect of any conservation schemes currently being initiated by farmers and gamekeepers on their land such as supplementary feeding or growing wild bird seed crops and game cover crops.

It is also a useful way of gaining personal insight on how well their birds are faring.


So which birds are we asking people to count? You can download our simple count sheet to see which species we're interested in recording and see some of the more important birds in more detail here.