21 January 2016

Get the bunting out – the first Farmland Bird ID Day a pheasant success!

BFBC ID Day Wiltshire - John RoseThe first Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) identification day has taken place in Wiltshire with great success.

This is the third year the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has run the BFBC and excitement is building. The first of 17 bird identification days across the country took place yesterday at Zeals in Wiltshire. 22 people attended the sold out event and learned how to identify the main bird species likely to be seen on farmland this coming winter.

The attendees were lucky enough to see 24 different species, including a flock of over 100 linnet, numerous yellowhammer, reed bunting, skylark, fieldfare and redwing. One of the GWCT’s Advisory team, Peter Thompson, who ran the day, said: “This was a fantastic start to this year’s event. Our host, Charles Spencer, made it a really special day on his beautiful downland farm. Initial feedback from the event tells us that everyone found it most enjoyable and learnt a lot. They feel they now have a much improved chance of actually being able to identify a LBJ – a little brown job!”

Charles himself felt very inspired by the event, saying: “I really enjoyed being able to host the ID day. It shows what a bit of work and a solid agri-environment scheme can achieve. Before the day, I was a bit worried that all the people attending might keep the birds in hiding. But the numbers of birds and different species we saw was incredible. I’d like to encourage other farmers to take part – they might be surprised by what they learn. I’m excited to see what I can spot on the BFBC day itself!”

Margaret Feneley from Natural England and Tracy Adams from Cranborne Chase AONB provided Charles with support for his agri-environment scheme.  Tracy gave advice on what to plant where to attract farmland birds. She attended the ID day and said: “It was wonderful to see the work that Charles and I have done actually delivering results and also inspiring other farmers. The GWCT’s Big Farmland Bird Count is a great event – I’d love to see more people getting involved and understanding how much they can achieve on their own land.”

Spaces are still available at some of the ID days, but are filling up fast with 8 now sold out. To register, visit www.gwct.org.uk/bfbcdays or ring 01425 651000.

END

Photocaption: Attendees at the Wilsthire ID Day – credit John Rose.

Dates for the GWCT Bird Identification Days:

Region

Event Lead Organisation

Event Date

North Yorkshire

Nidderdale AONB

22.01.16

Lincolnshire

Notts FWAG

25.01.16

South Downs AONB

RSPB

26.01.16

Northern Ireland

RSPB

26.01.16

Hampshire

GWCT

27.01.16

Somerset

South West FWAG

27.01.16

Cambridgeshire

GWCT / RSPB

29.01.16

Norfolk

Norfolk FWAG

02.02.16

Worcestershire

GWCT

02.02.16

Shropshire

Seabridge Associates (West Midlands FWAG)

03.02.16

Suffolk

Suffolk FWAG

03.02.16

Dorset

South West FWAG

04.02.16

Essex

FWAG East

04.02.16

Vale of Glamorgan

GWCT

05.02.16

Kinross-shire

GWCT

05.02.16


Notes for editors:

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 14 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies.

* GWCT’s Big Farmland Bird Count is sponsored by the NFU and delivered in partnership with the Farmers Union of Wales, Ulster Farmers’ Union, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, Kings, CFE, FWAG, National Sheep Association, Camgrain, LEAF, the CLA and Perdix.

ISDN radio broadcast line - at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
James Swyer
Telephone: 01425 651000

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