Call for farmers to join annual bird count

As the RSPB continues to warn about the decline in farmland bird species, farmers and land managers are being asked to become citizen scientists for 30 minutes in February.

The annual Farmland Bird Count, which is in its 10th year, encourages farmers and land managers to spend 30 minutes between 3 February until 19th February doing a bird count. The information feeds into national data collection and gives a picture of the health or otherwise of our farmland bird populations.

The Farmland Bird Count is run by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)and last year more than 1,900 farmers and land managers took part. Despite some challenging weather conditions, the 2022 survey saw 26 red-listed species recorded. These included Greenfinch, Ptarmigan, Purple Sandpiper and Montagu’s Harrier.

With farmers and land managers being responsible for the management of much of the habitat that sustains farmland birds, developing a clear picture of what is happening is vital if we are to reverse species’ decline. Along with important information on numbers and breeding success rates, this project highlights which birds are benefitting from conservation efforts and which are most in need of support.

Farmers wanting to participate can download a count sheet here and spend 30 minutes between 3 and 19 February counting birds on one spot on-farm. Guides to counting and identifying birds and more details on taking part are all available on the GWCT’s website.