Last year saw a record-breaking count with 1,400 people taking part – a 40% increase on the previous year, recording 140 species over 1 million acres. However, with current NFU membership numbers sitting at 55,000+, there are still many farmers and land managers who have yet to get involved.
You know your farm better than anyone. You know your crop rotations, your livestock movements, your wet and dry fields. But what do you know about the wildlife on your farm?
If you have never set time aside to consider this, the BFBC is the perfect opportunity. 30 minutes to look at your farm from a different perspective might help you to appreciate both the pleasure of being a custodian of our countryside, and the business opportunities of paid-for environmental management.
CFE partners such as the NFU and GWCT use data on the great work you do to promote farmers’ interests with government and the public. The more data we have to make the case for support for farmers, the stronger this case will be. The information gathered by the BFBC is a unique snapshot of bird populations on farmland which adds another tool to the toolbox for championing the farmed environment and you, the farmers who care for it.
Don’t be put off by the thought that you might not recognise some bird species. You probably know more than you think (robin, starling, goldfinch…) and GWCT have a handy guide for some of the trickier ones.
If in doubt, why not take a camera with you? Take a snap of any you’re not sure of and look them up when you get home. The RSPB have a hand ‘identify a bird’ tool you can use to whittle down the options by size, colour, beak etc.
© NFU 2018