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  • Kristýna Drhlíková

Birds On The Brain Again!

The Czech Farmer Cluster build bird boxes and re-engage with the birdlife present on their agricultural land...

Installation of a bird house in a designated area in the Czech FC with support of a local expert | © Iris Bohnet / Czech University of Life Sciences

On April 1st, 2022, there was a Farmer Cluster meeting which took place at the lead farm at Velke Hosteradky.


At the Farmer Cluster meeting on the 1st of April, CULS professional film makers were present at the event to take footage and to interview the lead farmer.*


A diverse range of talks were organized and presented at the Farmer Cluster meeting, including several talks on farmland birds and pollinators. In the morning session a diversity of talks was presented informing participants about the value of farmland biodiversity and the Farmer Cluster approach taken in the FRAMEwork project.


In the afternoon session, the bird boxes, built during February by the social enterprise Jasan that is part of the Farmer Cluster, were installed at designated locations in the Farmer Cluster landscape with support of local ornithologists and experts from the bird rescue station.



Kristyna Drhlikova from the CULS team presenting pollinator and vegetation monitoring results from the first round of monitoring in 2021 | © Iris Bohnet / Czech University of Life Sciences

Further, at the Farmer Cluster meeting, the ornithologists (from Czech BirdLife/local ornithologists) and the representatives from the local rescue station presented valuable information on birds in the local area and the value of installing bird houses. Subsequently, an interested farming couple – who is not part of the FC – also bought a bird house for installation on their farm.



Local ornithologist Miroslav Dusik presenting data supporting predators and owls for rodent management | © Iris Bohnet / Czech University of Life Sciences

All presentations were very well received by the audience, including farmers, researchers and NGOs.


Thanks to all the members of the Czech team, especially the FC facilitator Jan Travnicek - we had a

fabulous and successful event at the leader farm in Velke Hosteradky, a village in a calm, lovely area of south Moravia. Thanks to the input of all members, either getting a speaker or presenting them self the program was quite enjoyable, covering quite a wide range of biodiversity issues.


Unfortunately, because of some health issues among participants, the event was also held online as a hybrid meeting. Of course, it brought some technical issues, but it was good as more people could join.


Jan and his colleagues prepared the in person part very well. Unfortunately, the weather was surprisingly very windy and cold, so the practical part of birdbox installation and spot selection outside was uncomfortable. As a result, the attendees participated in the installation at the leader farm, just in nearby spots.


The attendees were people not just from surrounding areas but also from far away. Considering their questions, it was obvious that they are already quite skilled in what is essential for biodiversity. Still, they were glad they could ask experts about issues they encounter implementing biodiversity

measures on their farms. The critical part of the program was the presentation of the Birdlife association, which already had a survey in the leader farm because they could present some results of what was found in

the area compared with a general incidence.


The attendees enjoyed the event and were keen to implement easy measures in their farms. For example, they wanted bird boxes that fit the specific predator species. One of the exciting issues that we crossed was fields management. The pollinators team claimed that for the pollinators is best to have stripes of grass or crop that are connected. Contrary, the birdlife team argued that the connection is not always the best way because of the predation of birds.


The first challenge is to get together people unfamiliar with biodiversity-sensitive management. The second challenge is for farmers to find time to attend similar events and educate themself in this area while they are already very busy; that was quite an issue with the stakeholders within the cluster.


Nevertheless, this event gathered interested people who wanted to be proactive, and we saw ideas, opinions, practices and contacts exchanged that I considered the best outcome.


*The material is being prepared for inclusion on the Czech FRAMEwork website and other social media platforms to promote the Czech FC, the FRAMEwork project and its approaches. – this interview has not yet been uploaded to the Czech FRAMEWORK website.



Invitation/program of the Farmer Cluster meeting on the 1st of April | © Czech University of Life Sciences

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