Finding ways to help the north east’s farmland birds will
be the focus of an event organised by the RSPB and Natural England
in Durham next month.
Yellowhammer by Tom Marshall RSPB
The two organisations are inviting the region’s agronomists,
farm advisers and producers to a free Farming and Birds (FAB) conference
on 19th November to explore ways of boosting the region’s
important farmland wildlife.
The Farming and Birds conference will highlight the ‘Big
3’ needs of farmland birds - a safe place to nest, winter
food, and spring/summer food - and how these can be incorporated
into north east farms.
David Morris RSPB Regional Agricultural Adviser, said: “Farming
is absolutely vital to the region, not just because it produces
food for people and is an important employer, but because it provides
habitats for a wide diversity of wildlife. The UK has developed
some of the best agri-environment schemes in the world and we need
to work with the farming community and agri-advisers to make sure
that everyone knows how these initiatives can help farmland wildlife
and farm businesses.”
Delegates will be able to find out more about techniques that
can help reverse the declines which have affected farmland birds
such as skylarks, tree sparrows, corn buntings and lapwings. The
event is already proving popular and more than 80 people have booked
a place. There are still a few places left and farm advisers who
would like to attend the free event should contact the RSPB on
0191 233 4300.
James Brown, Land Agent at Smiths Gore, has already booked his
place at the conference. He said: “I am delighted that the
RSPB and Natural England are holding this event in the north east.
From my personal experience, I know that many farmers want to make
the most of opportunities to increase the number of birds on their
farms. This event will help provide no-nonsense information about
the funding available from agri-environment schemes and practical
advice that can be used on local farms.”
The need for the Farming and Birds event has been highlighted
by recent Government figures, which showed farmland bird numbers
had reached their lowest point in England since records began in
the early 1960s. Government figures show that specialist farmland
birds such as yellowhammer (photo attached), skylark and corn bunting
are now at their lowest level, having declined by over 60 per cent
David Shaw of Natural England said: "From our work with
farmers, we know that many are keen to incorporate management practices
that will benefit the wildlife on their land but need good practical
advice and funding in order to undertake this."
The North East Farming and Birds event is to be held at Durham
County Cricket Ground on Monday 19th November, 10am-4.30pm. Speakers
include representatives of the NFU, RSPB and Natural England. The
event is free but advance booking is essential by calling the RSPB
on 0191 233 4300.
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