Farmers tips on attracting birds

FARMERS wanting to increase bird numbers can find out more at a series of events taking place across the East of England.

Free packs of wild bird seed and free advice are on offer at the events, organised as part of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, an industry-led initiative which encourages conservation work on farms.

Among the events will be one at 1 November – Russells Farm, Halstead, Essex, on November 1, and Hill Farm, Framsden, Stowmarket on November 3. Postcards are being sent to farmers across the region inviting them to visit a farm near them to get tips on attracting wild birds.

Campaign for the Farmed Environment regional co-ordinator Elizabeth Ranelagh said: “We first offered free bird seed in March and had a tremendous response, giving away hundreds of bags to farmers.

“Each pack is sufficient to plant half a hectare, providing vital food for wild birds, particularly during the winter.

“This time we are inviting farmers to a farm walk as well, where they can see some of the practical measures being taken on farmland to encourage wild birds. We are also offering advice on how they can support the Campaign through voluntary conservation measures and the entry level environmental stewardship scheme.”

In many places wild bird seed, which can comprise plants such as kale, chicory, millet and sunflowers, is replacing maize in the crops which are sown to give cover to game birds.

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While excellent for pheasants, maize seed is of little use to native wild birds. Replacing it with the other plants not only achieves good cover it provides food for a much wider range of birds and other wildlife as well.

Farmers can book their place, and claim their free bird seed, by calling 01223 874580 or emailing eastanglia@cfeonline.org.uk