Land managers play a “crucial role” in UK songbird survival, say organisers of the 2021 GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count, 5-14 February - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

“As custodians of the largest songbird habitat in the country, farmers, land managers and gamekeepers play a crucial role in the survival of the UK’s farmland birds,” says Dr Roger Draycott of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). “The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count aims to encourage even more of them to include conservation measures in the daily running of their farm, estate or shoot.”

The count’s organisers are asking land managers to spend 30 minutes, between 5 and 14 February, recording the farmland birds they see in one area of their land. “Many land managers carry out vital conservation work, largely unseen by the public,” continues Roger. “By taking part in the count year on year, they can see how the conservation work they are doing is having an impact and our scientists can build a picture of the health of the UK’s farmland bird species. The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count is a very positive way to showcase what can be achieved.”

Tim Walters, a farmer from Hampshire who regularly takes part, says: “I really enjoy doing the Big Farmland Bird Count each year. As we continue to be involved in stewardship and environmental work on the farms, it is really interesting to spend half an hour each year counting wild birds. It is a good break from the rigours of day-to-day commercial farming and shows how beneficial the work is that so many farming colleagues do to manage the countryside.”

Last year’s count saw more than 1,500 land managers take part. The GWCT hopes to beat that number this year. The Trust’s advisory service provides guidance to land managers, based on decades of research, on ways to boost their wild bird populations.

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Posted On: 28/01/2021

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