Our cirl bunting projects link to our efforts to manage our farm in a way that best supports them. They are fussy, particular birds and so attention to management detail is important. We have..
– Spent a significant amount of time and money into rebuilding our hedge banks and laying our hedges – cirls like thick, dense cover to nest in. We are in the process of trimming back hedges to encourage more growth, and in a few years will have thick hedges, ideal for nesting cirls (and other birds too). They particularly like gorse/blackthorn
– Its not all about hedges … cirls like crickets in the summer and so we have ploughed and planted up a red clover mix on the farm (the seed mix is called operation pollinator) – nectar rich plants
– In the winter they eat seeds left over from the harvest, (a rarity in UK countryside these days due to winter cropping). We don’t, and leave the after stubble and seed spilled post harvest for the cirls
– We are organic, which means other wildlife/insects for food source has space to thrive too
So a complete package of space to nest, and abundant food in summer and winter. Worth noting whats good for cirls is good for other wildlife too.
research projects start t survey level identifying what is using the farm thorughout the year, and to see whether cirls are around. We have compared our farm with a nature reserve called Labrador Bay in Torquay wwhere we know ther are in order to identify what is different. From there an active campaign of Sharpham and surrounding farms to improve habitat