FARMERS are being urged to take part in a study to find out how conservation work is helping wildlife.

The first annual Big Farmland Bird Count organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) will be held in February.

According to figures released by Defra and the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, 40,000 acres of specialist wildlife seed crops are being grown on farmland in England.

Grains such as wheat are being provided as supplementary food for farmland birds to help them survive the winter.

Jim Egan, from the GWCT, said: “Farmers and gamekeepers are responsible for managing the largest songbird habitat in this country on their land.

“Their efforts to ensure the future survival of our most cherished species, such as skylark, yellowhammer, corn buntings nad wild grey partridges are therefore vital.”

He added: “We believe that having a better understanding of which conservation measures are proving to be attractive to birds and which are not will be enormously helpful in adding to our understanding of why our birds are still declining.”

The count takes place between February 1 and 7. Visit