The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has urged farmers to help feed young partridges at this crucial time of year.
The organisation is concerned that a particularly cold and wet spring has impacted on the number of insects – a crucial part of a partridge chick’s diet. Researchers from the GWCT are urging the 1,000 farmers that took part in the Big Farmland Bird Count in February to encourage insect-rich habitats and start planting wild bird seed crops in preparation for the winter.
“Because of the low temperatures this spring, it is even more crucial that farmers have put in place the right habitats so that young chicks from this year’s clutches go on to survive and be counted as adult birds in the 2016 Big Farmland Bird Count,” said Professor Nick Sotherton, an entomologist from the GWCT.
Cultivating pollen and nectar crops can help encourage pollinators and insects. Farmers will also be growing wild bird seed crops, such as quinoa, sunflowers and kale, which can provide a good food source for partridges as the winter approaches.
For more information on the Big Farmland Bird Count, or the GWCT’s conservation efforts, go to the official website.