Farmers and landowners encouraged to get counting

25 January 2016

The CLA is encouraging landowners and farmers in the North to take part in this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count.

The count, which is organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, takes place between 6 and 14 February. Last year, over 950 farmers, managing nearly one million acres of farmland, took part and identified 127 different species, including some of conservation concern such as lapwings and tree sparrows.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, is an active supporter of the initiative.

According to CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn, local farmers and landowners are vital in helping to ensure the future survival of farmland birds. She said: “Through providing areas of wild bird seed mix, planting cover crops, good field margins and maintaining hedgerows, many local farmers and landowners are already providing the right habitats for wild birds for both nesting and feeding sites.

“Much of this good work goes unrecorded. This initiative provides a great opportunity to record the number and range of farmland bird species on their land and to demonstrate what their conservation efforts deliver on the ground.”

“It was fantastic to see so many farmers and landowners take part last year, with nearly a million acres covered. We hope to see even more records submitted this year.”

The count only takes 30 minutes and is best done at first light when the birds are most active. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust also recommends choosing a location with a good view of around 2 hectares of land. Once the count is complete, the results can be uploaded to the GWCT website, along with a few details about the location and weather conditions.

For more information on the Big Farmland Bird Count go to: