THE Ulster Farmers’ Union is encouraging farmers to get counting and join the Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC).
UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt will be taking part again this year and is encouraging farmers to do the same.
“It was promising to see bird count records broken during the 2019 Big Farmland Bird Count. This reflected the crucial role farmers play in the survival and protection of many farmland bird species. Several bird species are in decline and this is a great chance to show the public the positive impact farmland management has on bird numbers.
“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,” said Mr Chestnutt.
The Big Farmland Bird Count runs from February 7-16. 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. The BFBC organisers recommend selecting one particular area on the farm, somewhere with a good view of around two ha of the farm would be 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.