Wildlife map aids birds and farmers

THE RSPB is urging North East farmers to help the birds on their land, while boosting their income by signing up for a free wildlife survey scheme.

The Volunteer and Farmer Alliance (V&FA) offers farmers a free, no-strings-attached survey of the breeding birds on their land.

Once signed-up, a local RSPB volunteer will visit the farm to survey the different species of birds present.

The results are then plotted on a bird map that helps the farmer target work to benefit wildlife.

By becoming involved in the organisation, a new income can arise for the farmer as the wildlife data acquired through the bird maps can be used to bolster applications for wildlife-friendly farming grant schemes such as the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS).

The V&FA has been a great success in the North East this year, with 111 species of bird being recorded across 35 farms.

Almost 50 per cent of the participating farms are using the results to support wildlife-friendly farming scheme applications, while most other farms are using the information to monitor the success of their existing schemes.

Farmers or potential volunteers who would like to find out more about the V&FA project can contact Geraldine Straker on 0191 2334332 or email geraldine.straker@rspb.org.uk