Farmers wanted for Big Farmland Bird Count

A barn owl searches for prey during a farmland fly-by. Picture: Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
A barn owl searches for prey during a farmland fly-by. Picture: Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
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Farmers are being asked to help identify which birds are flourishing and which species need greater support on agricultural land as part of a national citizen-science project.

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s sixth annual Big Farmland Bird Count begins this Friday. It continues until February 17 and aims to help assess conservation efforts on British farms.

During the count, land owners, farmers, gamekeepers and wildlife enthusiasts are all asked to spend half an hour recording species they see on a patch of farmland.

Jim Egan, who organises the count, said: “Taking part and submitting results enables us to shout about the important conservation work many farmers are doing.

"We want landowners to be proud of their efforts. We will make sure that the public and policymakers hear about what can be achieved on Britain’s farms.”

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Last year, 1,000 people took part. They surveyed 950,000 acres and recorded 121 species, including 25 red-listed species.

The 2019 count is sponsored by the National Farmers’ Union whose president Minette Batters will take part on her farm in Wiltshire.

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