Top Stories from the Marlborough Downs

Royal Agricultural University students help conserve farmland birds

October 2014

 

RAU students have been working alongside the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area (MDNIA), actively enhancing habitats for Tree Sparrows and other key farmland bird species. Bird expert, Matt Prior from the Wiltshire Ornithological Society, was on hand to advise students on some of the best available management approaches, developed from decades of careful monitoring and observation.

It is important to provide the ‘Big 3’ for farmland birds: safe nesting habitat, summer food and winter food. There is also growing awareness of the need to enhance linkages between bird populations at the landscape scale, an approach adopted by the MDNIA.

Farmer David White commented “We are extremely pleased with how our farmer led MDNIA is progressing, not only from the wildlife perspective, but also in the solid partnerships that have developed.” He went on to say, “The partnership we have with the RAU is a prime example of this. It’s great to see students being given the chance to gain such valuable practical experience.”

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