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UK’s biggest ever farmland bird count shows farmers committing to conservation - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count results
GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count results

Participation in an annual nationwide survey of farmland birds has more than doubled. Britain’s farmers and gamekeepers have shown their long-term commitment to conservation alongside productive land-use by completing this year’s GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count in record numbers.

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Dr Roger Draycott, who organised the count, said: “We could not be more delighted with the response to this year’s GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count. Despite much of the country being blanketed in snow during the count (5-21 February) participation has shot up, with 2,500 counts returned, representing a 65% increase in the number of counts submitted compared to 2020, which was also a record year. The land area covered by the count has more than doubled to over a million hectares and 81% more birds have been counted this year by more than 700 additional volunteers. All of this helps us to build a detailed national picture of the state of Britain’s farmland birds, allowing us to better understand what is really going on in our countryside. It clearly shows that farmers, land managers and gamekeepers care for the land they work and, given that they look after 71% of all the land in the UK, that is extremely good news for the future of our treasured bird species. We would like to thank everyone who took part for demonstrating that land managers can lead the way in protecting our countryside alongside effective food production.”

The 2021 GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count has shown some encouraging results. A total of 25 species from the Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern were recorded in this year’s count, with eight appearing in the 25 most frequently seen species list. Of these, starlings, fieldfare, lapwing and linnet were the four most abundant red-listed species recorded, with over 112,000 spotted in total, which equates to 22% of all the birds counted. The five most abundant birds counted were woodpigeons, starling, rooks, fieldfare and chaffinch. A total of 190,000 were seen, making up over 37% of the total number of birds recorded.


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Posted On: 08/04/2021

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