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The 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count is on – and early results are 'remarkable'.
More than 2000 farmers and gamekeepers are taking part in a week-long study to assess the fortunes of the nation's most rapidly-declining farmland birds. And early results are 'remarkable'.
The 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count takes place between the 7 and 15 February. Run by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), the study gives farmers a chance to 'see what they've got' and showcase how their conservation efforts are helping their birds.
Participants take a tick sheet into the field for 30 minutes and record any bird sightings. Just two days into the study, 117 different types of birds – including 14 red-listed (threatened) species – had already been counted.
"At this early stage, this was a remarkable result, both in terms of the range of species counted, as well as the number of red-listed species appearing within the top 25 of birds seen," said Jim Egan, Head of Training and Development with the GWCT.
Guy Smith, vice-president of the National Farmers' Union, added: "Farmers are quietly proud of how much wildlife they have on their farm. But I say, don't just be proud – be loud!"
The full results of the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count will be announced in early spring.
Dairy farmers are custodians of the countryside, read more about how they take care of our wildlife