British wildlife is in crisis.

Since 1970 the number of farmland birds has gradually declined and they are now at a critically low level. The decline has been due to intensified farming methods and the removal of food sources such as hedgerows.

Research by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has shown breeding numbers are 30% higher for songbirds and farmland birds that have access to winter feeding stations. Increasing the numbers of wildlife on our farm is something we feel very strongly about at the CRT and we will continue to do everything we can to encourage it. Nationally, the number of farmland birds has been in steady decline since the 1970s, with an overall loss of more than 50% for 10 species since 1970. These 10 species are placed on the 'Red List' of most concern, and over half of them depend on seeds for winter food, including Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Grey Partridge, Skylark, Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer. 

How the CRT helps

Long tailed tit on feederOn seven of the CRT farms we conduct a programme of supplementary feeding in order to encourage more farmland birds onto our farms and to help them survive the difficult winter months. This is vitally important for declining farmland birds whose survival is at risk.


Supplementary feeding provides an important food resource for birds by enhancing crops of winter bird food when they have been depleted and before natural food sources become available in late spring. Birds need food all year round and when they struggle to find it, sadly they die. We support populations of declining farmland birds when the natural sources of seeds and grains are no longer available.


We are delighted to report the supplementary feeding at Lark Rise Farm has attracted a wide range of farmland birds including Long-tailed Tit, Blue & Great Tits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker  and many more. Even more exciting is there have been regular sightings of 'Amber List' (moderate decline species such as Dunnock and Reed Bunting, and several 'Red List' species such as Grey Partridge, Skylark, Starling, Linnet and Yellowhammers. At dusk, a Barn Owl often visits to see what small mammals have been attracted by the feeding station!

As a charity dedicated to the conservation of wildlife on farms, we have evidence to show that our farmers and volunteers are achieving magnificent results. We need you to make a donation today to help us maintain the current levels of birds on our farms.

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