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Remarkable bird count results

Remarkable bird count results

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.

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Dairy farmers are custodians of the countryside, read more about how they take care of our wildlife