Take part in The Big Farmland Bird Count

This week the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is launching the Big Farmland Bird Count, a study to assess the number and variety of birds found on arable land. 

SHEERNESS, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  A Skylark sits in a tree at Elmley Marshes on April 12, 2013 in Sheerness, England. The RSPB's Elmley Marshes lies on the Isle of Sheppy, and is managed by the Elmley Conservation Trust. The three and a half acre reserve has the highest density of breeding waders in southern England including Avocet and Redshank. The area is also known to be one of the best sites in the UK to view birds of prey which include Peregrine Falcon, Marsh and Hen Harriers, Rough Legged Buzzards and Short Eared Owl.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This week the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is launching the Big Farmland Bird Count, a study to assess the number and variety of birds found on arable land. 

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The Trust is encouraging all farmers and gamekeepers to take part, with participants able to submit results online or by post. The count will take place between the 1 and 7 February and will involve recording the species and number of birds seen in one particular area of a farm. 

The survey is expected to take only 30 minutes but will provide vital information about how bird species are faring.

The aim of the study is to highlight the good conservation work being undertaken by farmers, as the Trust is concerned that attempts to reverse the decline of many farmland species such as grey partridges, skylarks, corn buntings and yellowhammers are going unrecorded. 

This is the first large survey of its kind undertaken by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and they are hoping to make it an annual event. In 2013 a successful pilot ran across 30 farms consisting of 10,000 hectares of land between them. 

Jim Egan, Head of Development & Training at the Trust’s Allerton Project, explained that the they hope the count ‘will spur people on to do even more work for their farmland birds in the future’.

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For more information and to find out how to take part visit the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s website.