Birds are still thriving on Hampshire’s farms

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HAMPSHIRE farmers have helped to build up a snapshot of rural birdlife.

Eight farms in the county, including at Droxford, Rowlands Castle and Hambledon, have taken part in an RSPB survey to see which species of birds are living on farms.

Across the region, 57 volunteers surveyed more than 9,800 acres – the equivalent to around 4,000 rugby pitches.

Common birds such as the blackbird, chaffinch and blue tit were found on 98 per cent of the farms surveyed.

Robins were also present on 94 per cent, with the great tit and wren present on 93 per cent of farms.

Andrew Hughes, who owns a farm in Andover, said: ‘This year’s survey has helped to build up a fantastic knowledge base of the diversity of wildlife on the estate, as well as producing an official record of bird species.

‘It has also helped me implement measures to improve both habitat and food sources for birds, as well as promoting an excellent working partnership with the RSPB, which benefits all wildlife in the countryside.’

Fay Pattinson, co-ordinator for the RSPB’s volunteer and farmer alliance survey, which is now in its 12th year, said: ‘We’ve had a great response of farms taking part in the surveys this year which gives those farmers an excellent idea of what birds are present on their holding.

‘Farmers really value the information and once they know which birds they have on their land and where, we can advise them on how to manage their land appropriately with these species in mind.’

She added: ‘It was encouraging to see the farmland birds skylark, song thrush, linnet and yellowhammer present on well over half of the farms surveyed this year.’