The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count returns…

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The UK’s farmers, gamekeepers and land managers can play their part understanding and helping the survival of songbirds as part of next month’s Big Farmland Bird Count.

The count  has been organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust since 2014 to support farmland birds and highlight the hard work already done by many of farmers and gamekeepers to help reverse species’ declines.

It also gives a vital national snapshot of the health of the UK’s birdlife and this year runs from February 4th to 20th.

The GWCT’s Dr Roger Draycott, who runs the count, said: “Farmers and gamekeepers are vital in helping to ensure the survival of many of our cherished farmland bird species such as skylark, yellowhammer, corn buntings and wild grey partridges.

“They are responsible for managing the largest songbird habitat in this country on their land, so they are in a position to make a real difference.”

For the fourth year running 2022’s count is sponsored by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), demonstrating the farming community’s commitment to conserving farmland birds.

NFU president Minette Batters added: “2021’s results were fantastic with farmers and growers across the country responding to the count in record numbers.

“Not only are farmers producing climate-friendly food, they are also maintaining and protecting the great British countryside, creating habitats for wildlife and additional feeding for farmland birds. I encourage all farmers to get involved in the 2022 GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count.”

For land managers keen to support wild birds, a few small changes can have a significant impact. The GWCT offers advice on improving biodiversity on farms and shoots.

“Modern farming methods mean that there is often not enough natural food for wildlife left in the countryside in late winter and early spring,” added Roger.

“One of the best ways to support wild and game birds is to provide extra winter seed food. Supplementary feeding is particularly beneficial for birds of conservation concern like grey partridge, yellowhammer and corn bunting.”

To take part visit bfbc.org.uk