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On 21st February 2020, we commissioned two ornithologists, Neil Harris and Matt Wilmot to carry out a winter bird survey in two areas of our farm. As part of our wild bird shoot here on the farm we are keen to increase the development of environmental habitats, not only for the quarry species but also farmland birds and other wider farm diversity.

The results were encouraging and several of the most declined and threatened bird species were found in significant numbers in both areas of the farm. It was immediately obvious to both surveyors that the concentration of birds in the two plots was considerably higher compared to the wider countryside. The Grey Partridge recovery project, that we have been working on for several years on the farm, is having a knock-on effect sharing its benefits with many other species, particularly the Skylarks, Yellowhammers and Corn Bunting.

Our high quality and well-managed game covers provide critical winter feeding refuges for many declining farmland birds along with the supplementary feeding that takes places on the tracks around the farm. Not only do our wildflowers margins scattered around the farm look attractive to the human eye, but they are also insect-rich providing food for the broods of the farmland birds. Furthermore they provide a habitat for a wide range of pollinators and crop pest predators, vital in our farming operation.

The table below shows the different species of bird found on the two plots:

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