Farmers urged to get behind Big Farmland Bird Count

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The Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging farmers to get counting and join the Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) this winter.

UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt said: “Farmers play a crucial role in the survival and protection of many farmland bird species. Several bird species are in decline and this is a great opportunity to show the public the positive impact farmland management has on bird numbers.”

The Big Farmland Bird Count runs from the 8th February to 17th February 2019. Farmers can take part by following three easy steps - download a free count sheet and bird ID guide from www.bfbc.org.uk; pick one day and take 30 minutes to count the birds on one part of the farm; and submit the results online.

Mr Chestnutt says he’ll be taking part this year and is encouraging other farmers to do the same. “Farmers often, and unfairly, get branded as poor land managers and polluters. It is disappointing that the actions of a few tarnish the reputation of all farmers. This is our opportunity to dispel those myths and showcase to the public the good work we are doing on farms,” he said.

The BFBC organisers recommend selecting one particular area on the farm but somewhere with a good view of around four-five acres of the farm is ideal.

“Farmers are busy but I’m sure we can all find 30 minutes during those 10 days to take part,” said the deputy president.