From today (Friday, February 3) until February 19, farmers and land managers across the UK will be recording the birds they see on their lands for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) annual Big Farmland Bird Count.

The Big Farmland Bird Count, which his now in its tenth year and sponsored by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), aims to provide a snapshot of the health of the UK’s farmland birds.

Over 1,900 farmers took part in last year’s count, with responses coming from every county in England, as well as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and 300 responses also coming from farmers in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Launching the annual nationwide survey today was NFU county chair and head of training and partnerships at GWCT’s Allerton Project demonstration farm, Joe Stanley.

The count, he said, is “a fantastic initiative which gives farmers and land managers a simple way of recording the effect of any conservation work they may have undertaken on their land”.

Mark Nowers, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said: “The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count is a great opportunity to take stock of the birds on your farm.

“I was fortunate enough to spend time with the farmers on the north Essex Farm Cluster where we were treated to the incredible sight of over 700 Linnets bursting out of some Wild Bird Cover.

“Species like Yellowhammer, Com Bunting and Linnet are heavily reliant on the stewardship of farmers for their populations to thrive.

“I hope that whatever you see, it acts as a trigger for you to think, ‘how can I get more of these on my farm.”