Guest blog by Ross Murray, CLA President

Ross MurrayEnsuring a countryside where natural wildlife thrives alongside a diverse and productive rural economy is one of the greatest challenges we face.

Too often, the aims of wildlife conservation and modern agricultural and land management practices are seen to be at odds with each other when, in fact, this is far from the case. Farmers and landowners do great work in providing for farmland wildlife through voluntary management and agri-environment schemes.

Yet much of the work done to help reverse farmland bird decline still goes unrecorded.

The CLA is delighted to support the 2016 Big Farmland Bird Count which remedies this by championing this important work and demonstrating the significant diversity of birdlife present on our farms and landscape today.

It has been proven that through a combined approach of bird seed, cover crops, habitat management and winter feeding that we can help to support farmland bird species. Understanding farmland biodiversity is vital to helping us identify and more accurately target any areas in which farmland birds need further help for recovery.

I would encourage everybody to get involved and spend just 30 minutes this February to find out more about the birdlife around us. It is not only fascinating but also proves how passionate we, as landowners and rural businesses, are regarding farmland bird conservation.

Whether you took part last year or it is your first time, this is the chance to educate yourself and others about the variety of species that are on your farm or see how numbers have changed. I’m sure you will find the diversity of wildlife present surprising and I hope that this sparks a long term trend for bird conservation.

The CLA represents 33,000 farmers, landowners and rural businesses across England and Wales.

The third #BFBC takes place between 6th and 14th February 2016

We're asking people to spend 30 minutes on any one day between the 6th and 14th February recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm.

Sign up for Big Farmland Bird Count reminders > 


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