July 31, 2008

Farming: Invitation for North East Farmers to Join RSPB Scheme

THE RSPB is inviting farmers in the North East to join a successful scheme which can boost farm incomes while helping the wildlife on their land.

The "Volunteer & Farmer Alliance" is organised by the RSPB and offers farmers a free survey of the breeding birds on their land, carried out by a local volunteer.

Taking part is completely free with no-strings attached, and it's a great way for farmers to find out valuable information about birds on the farm.

A trained volunteer visits the farm to survey the species of birds present and the results are plotted on a unique "bird map" that can help farmers target their work to benefit wildlife.

The information on these bird hotspot maps can help bring in new income, as the wildlife data can be used in applications for agri- environment grants.

The RSPB is now inviting 50 farms in the region to take part in the next round of surveys.

Sarah Dullage of the RSPB said: "This project provides valuable information and support for farmers who want to do more to help wildlife on their farms.

The scheme combines the knowledge and enthusiasm of bird watchers with the interest of farmers to learn more about the birds and other wildlife present on their land.

By providing farmers with a free survey of the birds on their farm, we hope that together we can improve conservation management for farmland birds. Better still, it's a free service that helps farmers tap into new sources of income."

Farmers who would like to find out more about the Volunteer and Farmer Alliance project can contact Sarah Dullage on (0191) 233- 4310 or e-mail [email protected]

(c) 2008 The Journal - Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.