A CHOLMONDELEY farm is home to some of the most scarce species of birds in the country.
Latest Government figures released last week show that nationally the lowest numbers of farmland birds in 40 years.
Almost three-quarters of the 19 species in the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) report showed year-on- year declines. However, several farmland birds at Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s farm at Bickley Hall on the Cholmondeley Estate are increasing in numbers.
Wildlife- friendly farming practices at the 200-acre farm are at the heart of a rise in the local populations of birds such as the tree sparrow, whose numbers have plummeted by more than 90% across the UK in recent decades.
Of the ‘indicator’ species measured at the report, Bickley Hall Farm is home to more than a dozen, with a number of these breeding including the linnet, yellowhammer, skylark, tree sparrow and for the first time this year the migratory yellow wagtail.
Conservation committee chairman Neil Friswell said: “We were heartened to find winter flocks of up to 80 skylarks, 150 tree sparrows and 250 linnets, showing that not only is the farm supporting nesting populations but also hosting significant numbers of birds from the surrounding countryside.”