16 January 2019

Big Farmland Bird Count returns to Scotland


FARMERS, landowners and game keepers across the country are being urged to take part in the Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC), which is back for the sixth successive year.

The nationwide citizen science project calls on farmers, land managers and gamekeepers to spend 30 minutes spotting species on their patch of land between the 8 and 17 February 2019 and the results will aim to establish which farmland birds are thriving due to good conservation efforts whilst identifying the ones in need of most help.

Dave Parish, GWCT Scotland’s Head of Lowland Research said: “Many farmers do a lot on their farms to encourage birds and other wildlife, but the wider public doesn’t yet really seem to appreciate that.

“All we want is for as many individual farmers as possible to spend just half an hour counting birds on a part of their farm so that we can tell everyone about the good work that is going on.”

Last-year saw a record-breaking 1,000 responses to the UK count, recording 121 species across 950,000 acres.

A total of 25 red-listed species were recorded, with five appearing in the 25 most commonly seen species list.

Once all the data are in the results will be analysed by the Trust. All participants will receive a report on the national results once they have been collated.

The Big Farmland Bird Count is sponsored by the NFU, and partnered by FWAG, LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), Kings, Perdix, NFU Scotland and the CLA.

To take part:

1)   Download a count sheet at our newly-launched BFBC website www.bfbc.org.uk

2)   Count your birds! On a day between 8 and 17 February, spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm.

3)   Once you've completed your count, simply submit your results at www.bfbc.org.uk

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 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. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:

Playfair Walker
Telephone: 0131 445 5570
Email: richard@playfairwalker.com

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