Monday, 22 December 2014

Guest Blog: If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well

Image by Peter Thompson
by Chris Baylis, LEAF Farmer from Sutton Estates

Our awareness of the importance of conservation has increased dramatically over the last decade and there is little negativity from stakeholders in the agricultural industry and general public towards our efforts to safeguard the surrounding biodiversity - we know it’s a job worth doing! The Big Farmland Bird Count is a fantastic initiative that helps recognise and celebrate the work that the farming community do to help farmland bird numbers.

As a LEAF Demonstration Farm we are no stranger to taking part in valuable initiatives and we join in not only because it’s a great way to show how the birds are faring on the farm but also as a way for us to contribute to the bigger picture: It helps to demonstrate the considerable conservation measures being implemented by UK farmers, which is important for us to promote. Joining in the count and having access to the valuable statistics it collates also helps us to communicate the key Integrated Farm Management (IFM) messages to the visitors we welcome on to the Estate.

On this Estate 10% of our total area is devoted to conservation including; 25 acres of wild bird mix, 37 acres of pollen and nectar strips and 28 owl boxes in name but a few. We took part in the 2014 count and recorded 40 species in out half hour look which included Tree sparrow and Lapwing to name just two. We would encourage farmers to join in the BFBC and start celebrating their conservation achievements as we know through our own conservation efforts that it is ‘worth doing’ and we feel taking part in the Big Farmland Bird Count ensures we are ‘doing it well’.

Farmland Bird ID Days

Ahead of the 2015 Big Farmland Bird Count we're running 10 farmland bird identification days around the country in January. Places are strictly limited to 20 per day and you can book your place here.

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