North East landowners urged to take part in birdspotting event

CLA regional director Dorothy Fairburn.
CLA regional director Dorothy Fairburn.
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The Country Landowners’ Association is urging farmers in the North East to take part in this year’s Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Big Farmland Bird Count.

The count takes place from Saturday, February 6, to Sunday, February 14.

Last year, more than 950 farmers, managing nearly a million acres of agricultural land, took part, identifying 127 different types of bird, including under-threat species such as lapwings and tree sparrows.

The association is an active supporter of the initiative, and its regional director, Dorothy Fairburn, said: “Through providing areas of wild bird seed mix, planting cover crops, good field margins and maintaining hedgerows, many farmers and landowners are already providing the right habitats for wild birds for 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 trust recommends choosing a location with a good view of around two hectares of land.

Once the count is complete, results can be uploaded to www.gwct.org.uk/bfbc