IT is now easier to find a bird common to Cornwall in Marlborough than in the seaside county.

Numbers of corn bunting plummeted in Cornwall by as much as 90 per cent between 1970 and 2010.

However, Marlborough has now been discovered as a haven for the birds, which are more easily found in Aldbourne Chase farm near Marlborough, than by the sea.

Naturalist Nick Adams carried out the bird survey and found the surprising results. The survey showed that 76 other species were also found in the area, which has become a bird watchers’ paradise.

Mr Adams believes the secret of the success of the farm is its variety of habitats. The team has created more than 15 ponds, 80 acres of wild flowers and planted more than eight miles of nature friendly hedges in the last 20 years at the farm. Other species of high conservation concern have been spotted there, including the turtle dove and yellow wagtail.

Mr Adams said: “The results of this survey show what can be done by sympathetic habitat improvement, to protect the bird population and enable threatened species to flourish. Bird numbers are of course symptomatic of wider environment conditions, insect life for example, is critical; turtle dove are all but extinct in North Wiltshire. To find them on Aldbourne Chase is a great result.”

Brian Kingham, from Aldbourne Chase Farms, said “This is a great result and the culmination of almost 20 years’ work to restore and enrich the natural habitat on Aldbourne Chase.

“The healthy levels of bird populations are an indication of improvements in the wider ecology.”

The farms are run as a mixed farming, cattle and cereals enterprise with a gamebird shoot, employing a keeper.

The skylark and yellowhammer are both species considered of high conservation concern and were also found at the farm.