Barn owl in flight

A message from our Essex Chair

FWAG East’s Essex Chairman urges support for GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count 2015

By Kit Speakman, Essex Chair, FWAG East, Little Braxted Hall, Essex

FWAG is delighted to be supporting the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count and as such we’re offering an extra bird identification training day on my farm here in Essex, for any farmers or gamekeepers in East Anglia who couldn’t make the other events.

We’ve decided to run this event because I think it’s really important as many people as possible get behind the count and brush up on their birding skills. We all spend a lot of time fussing over our margins and manicuring our mixes, and we KNOW they deliver for wild birds, but can we identify them? We all enjoy seeing flocks of small birds feeding on our seed, swooping over our hedgerows and darting for cover, but how can we demonstrate the value of our efforts unless we know exactly what we are attracting onto our farms?

At the event, I’m looking forward to hearing from expert FWAG birder Tim Schofield on identifying the different species and putting this into practice on my farm, so that I can contribute meaningfully to the count between 7th-15th February.

It’s time we take our conservation efforts full circle, make them measurable and let the public know how we are supporting farmland birds.

To book a place at this event, which takes place on Thursday 5th February, please call or email the FWAG East team on 01223 841507 or

This article was reproduced as a guest blog on the GWCT’s Big Farmland Bird Count blog.



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FWAG East is part of the FWAG Association: FWAG East CIC is a limited company registered in England. Registered No: 08776388. Thanks to Chris Loades for images: