Pembrokeshire tenant beef farmer, Tony Cadogan, who keeps a herd of 50 Hereford suckler cows plus followers on his coastal farm near Kilgetty, has opened the gates to his farm to host an information session with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Wales and the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW), on what farmers can do to help the bird population on their farms thrive ahead of the Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) fortnight (Friday 3 February – Sunday 19 February 2023).
Farming 132 hectares which he manages as 56.5 hectares of arable and 53 hectares of grass along with grazed saltmarsh and woodland, the land is split over three blocks, with the two main blocks being registered as organic, which are also in the Glastir Advanced and Glastir Organic schemes.
Mr Cadogan, a big believer in farming to the benefit of the environment around him, led a farm walk with members and guest speaker Bleddyn Thomas, Project Officer at the GWCT Wales, at which they identified curlews, woodpeckers, oyster catchers, robins, teals, shelducks, starlings, Canada geese, redshanks, blue tits, black headed gulls, lapwings and meadow pipits.
“I try to make sure that the way I farm doesn’t just produce sustainable and nutritious food but also looks after the environment around me. Our farmland birds have an important role to play in the ecosystem of the farm and seeing them thrive is important to me. The Big Farmland Bird Count is a great initiative and is simple enough to get involved with. It is also a great way to showcase the important work farmers are already doing. I would encourage farmers to find out more about the BFBC and get involved.”
FUW Deputy President Ian Rickman who joined the event said:
“There is an abundance of wildlife on the farm which bears testament to Tony’s hard work and dedication to make the farm a home for livestock, wildlife and farmland birds. We enjoyed a really informative session here and I thank Tony for hosting this event and the GWCT for the presentation and guided farm walk.”
Bleddyn Thomas, Project Officer at the GWCT Wales, added:
“The Big Farmland Bird Count celebrates 10 years this year. It gives us a snapshot of the farmland bird population across the country, giving us an idea of how conservation work is helping. Visiting farms such as New Shipping Farm, gives farmers and land managers an opportunity to showcase the great work they do. The count gives farmers a monitoring tool to assess bird life on their land year on year. It was a great day visiting Tony’s farm, and it was plain to see the farming methods and grazing regimes they have implemented are working for wildlife, as well as profitable farming, which of course is essential.”
How to get involved:
- On one day between 3rd and 19th February spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm. You can choose your own location but somewhere with a good view of around 2 ha of the farm would be ideal.
- You’ll be asked to record the types of habitat and cropping on and adjacent to your count site to help provide us with more detail about your count location.
- To see the highest number of birds it is recommended that the site includes or is close to an area of game or wild seed mix or somewhere that supplementary feeding takes place.
- Ideally, counting should take place at first light as this is when the birds are most active. However, it is more important that you take part, so timings should suit you.
“It is important that you submit your results online via the BFBC website and I hope many of you will take part again,” added Ian Rickman.
For further information visit: