TURKEY farmer Chris Rummings is on a mission to rescue a bird which is in danger of going extinct

Chris, of Lydiard Turkeys, aims to help put a halt to the rapid decline of yellowhammers in the wild by providing them with plenty of crops to sustain them through the winter.

He wants to plant 4,000 square metres of a specially-formulated seed mix that will grow through the summer.

Chris said: “I’ve always had a very strong pro-wildlife ethos.

“Yellowhammers are an iconic farmland bird but there’s far fewer of them now.

“The way crops are grown in this country is very efficient now, but these methods don’t leave much for birds to live off during the winter months.

“We will make no profit from these crops, so we’re asking people to sponsor this initiative.

“It’s a two-way thing – the customers get to support a great wildlife initiative and the crops will bring more wildlife to the area for them to enjoy.

“The crops we plant also support other birds that are on the red-list and declining rapidly, like linnets,

“We planted our first acre last week and, despite the hot and dry weather conditions, it’s doing reasonably well.

“I’m very pleased.”

According to Lydiard Turkeys, yellowhammer numbers have dropped by 56 per cent since 1967.

These plummeting figures are due to modern farm intensification around the country.

It has led to reduced nesting sites, fewer seeds on which to feed on through the winter, and fewer insects which are needed to feed yellowhammer chicks.

Chris would like to generous locals and businesses to sponsor his initiative to stop the bright little birds from disappearing altogether.

It costs £25 to plant 100sq m of this crop.

Donators will get their own labelled plot in the field from summer to next spring as a reward for their kind generosity.

They will also receive an exclusive guided wildlife tour of the farm and Yellowhammer feed crop, a thank-you certificate, and a packet of the special seeds for them to plant at home.

Chris added: “I’m always trying to get people interested in wildlife.

“It’s important to educate people about the food they buy and the environments that the animals which the food comes from are brought up in.

“My boxes of food are not the cheapest but we are supporting a sustainable form of farming and our customers are really interested in that.”

To support the initiative, visit lydiardturkeys.co.uk