Ahead of the fifth Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is offering an opportunity for farmers to take part in a farmland bird identification workshops.

The ID workshops, which run across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, provide advice on birds that can be tricky to differentiate such as a Dunnock from a Tree sparrow.

Each workshop will be run by a farmland bird expert alongside a host farmer and, at the end of the day, participants will hopefully feel more confident in spotting the top 20 bird species likely to be seen on farmland over winter. These include some of the most iconic birds of the British countryside such as the Barn owl, Bullfinch, Lapwing, Grey partridge, Tree sparrow and Yellowhammer.

The first ID day takes place on January 17th and they run for three weeks up until the start of the count which, this year, runs from Friday February 9th to Sunday February 18th.

GWCT biodiversity officer, Peter Thompson, said: “It is vital that farmers and keepers start to consider the long-game by demonstrating more effectively what they are achieving. The BFBC is certainly one very positive way to do this and we’d also like to see people take part in ID days, which are crucial ahead of the count.”

Hundreds took part in last year’s ID days and there was lots of positive feedback with participants saying GWCT inspired them to take part in the count.

There just 25 places available for each day, costing £10 per person which includes refreshments.

FWAG SW are hosting one of these workshops in Somerset (Manor Farm, Stawell, Bridgewater, TA7 9AD) on 30th January 2018. The day will be presented by farmland bird expert Thomas Mansfield and Gary Rumbold, general manager at FWAG SW.

For more information and the full list of workshops visit https://www.gwct.org.uk/farming/big-farmland-bird-count/ the GWCT website by clicking here.