The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count 2016 is happening from the 6th to the 14th of February and the Ring of Gullion Team is delighted to support this fantastic initiative. The team is urging farmers and volunteers to take part. Farmers just need to spend 30 minutes on any one day between the 6th and 14th February recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm.
If farmers feel they don’t have enough knowledge to carry out the survey, Ring of Gullion conservation volunteers are available to carry out the survey on interested farmer’s land. It is a great opportunity to show the impact Integrated Farm Management is having on the numbers and diversity of farmland birds and to show what can be achieved by the adoption of simple management techniques to improve habitats and bird numbers. Farmers play a vital role in the survival of farmland birds. The Big Farmland Bird Count gives them an opportunity to show what their conservation efforts are delivering on the ground.
To help farmers and gamekeepers improve their identification skills ahead of the event, a Farmland Bird Identification Day will be taking place in Portloughan House, 42 Audleystown Rd, Strangford, Downpatrick, Co. Down on the 26th Janurary. The cost is £10 and booking is essential. Visit www.gwct.org.uk/farming/big-farmland-bird-count for more information about the bird count or to book an ID day. This really is a great opportunity for farmers across the Ring of Gullion to showcase the great conservation work being undertaken.
In 2014 the Game Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) began a project called the Big Farmland Bird Count. This encourages farmers to take a walk around their farm in February, identify and record the number of each species they see and send their results to GWCT. In 2015 over 950 farmers took part, recording 127 species on their farms.
The aim is to make the 2016 count even bigger and encourage even more farmers to take part.
At the workshops experts from GWCT and other conservation charities and organisations will be there to talk about some of the tricky species, how to identify them by sight and sound, and also the crucial bit: how to help those species become more common on their farms.
If you would like a Ring of Gullion Conservation Volunteer to carry out the Farmland Bird Survey on your land contact the office by emailing [email protected] or ringing (028) 3082 8590.