Norfolk farmers and landowners urged to take part in Big Farmland Bird Count 2016

Goldfinch are specialists at extracting seeds. Photo: Laurie Campbell ANL-150126-090316001
Goldfinch are specialists at extracting seeds. Photo: Laurie Campbell ANL-150126-090316001
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Landowners and farmers in Norfolk are being urged by CLA East to take part in this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count, an initiative organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Landowners and farmers in Norfolk are being urged by CLA East to take part in this year’s Big Farmland Bird Count, an initiative organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The event takes place between February 6 and 14. Last year more than 950 farmers managing nearly one million acres of farmland took part in the count and identified 127 different species, including some of conservation concern, such as lapwings and tree sparrows.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said the organisation’s members in Norfolk and across the eastern region were vital in helping to ensure the future survival of farmland birds.

“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,” he explained.

“However, 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 show 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 in 2016, and encourage as many farmers and landowners to get out there and contribute to this long-term monitoring initiative.”

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.

The count only takes 30 minutes and is best done at first light when the birds are most active. The GWCT also recommends choosing a location with a good view of around two hectares of land.

For more information on the Big Farmland Bird Count, go to: www.gwct.org.uk/bfbc