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GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count

gwct bird countDuring February 2017, a record number of farmers took part in The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust's (GWCT) fourth annual Big Farmland Bird Count 2017, recording their sightings of all bird species identified on their land.

112 species were spotted on over 900,000 acres of farmland surveyed by more than 970 farmers.

The five most commonly seen species were blackbirds and woodpigeons, robins, blue tits and carrion crows.

Also included in the total figure were 22 species from the Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern. Indeed, fieldfares, starlings, house sparrows, lapwings, linnets, redwings, herring gulls, song thrushes and yellowhammers all feature.

A variety of farm types participated in the survey. The average farm size was 959 acres, with over 65 per cent growing arable crops, nearly half having beef or sheep, and nearly 15 per cent growing field vegetables.

Nearly 60 per cent of participants are in some form of agri-environment scheme, demonstrating their long-term commitment to environmental management.

38 per cent of participants were providing some form of extra seed feed for birds – either through growing wild bird seed mixes or by providing additional grain through scatter feeding and hoppers.

You can find the full results of the survey HERE.


Vaynor, Wales/Shropshire Border

vaynor bettws hallWant to know what a shoot is really like? Ask the opinion of a well-travelled 90-year-old who's been shooting there for over 40 years, says Will Pocklington.

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Top tips for walked-up grouse shooting

top tips for walked up grouseJames Chapel shares his top tips for walking-up grouse...

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Problems with pickers-up

pickers-upGeorge Padley acknowledges the vital role that pickers-up play on shoot days, but argues that they should be conscious of Guns who have a dog of their own.

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Tips for working a dog on a grouse moor

lab in heatherJayne Coley offers her advice for those who will be working a dog on the moors for the first time this season.

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Latest features

Delicious game pies

game piesJust as a thieving magpie will steal odds and ends to hide in their nest, so we can hide our meaty odds and sods under a layer of tasty pastry, says Sarah Monier-Williams.

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Chamois stalking in the Austrian Alps

austrian chamois huntingOur sports take us to some remarkable places, says Marcus Janssen who reflects on his first chamois hunt high in the Austrian Alps.

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