RAU students help to conserve farmland birds

Students from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) 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 three’ 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 said: “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. The partnership we have with the Royal Agricultural University is a prime example of this. It’s great to see students being given the chance to gain such valuable practical experience.”

For further information about the courses available, please visit the FdSc in Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management and FdSc British Wildlife Conservation webpages.