On Thursday evening I took part in an event in Ely where the RSPB laid out our Fens Futurescapes plans to a room full of farmers and others. It was also by way of a big 'thank you' to farmers with whom we have been working in the Fens for years on farmland bird recovery projects.
It was nice to see the event and the project covered very positively in Farmers' Guardian and Farmers' Weekly.
Several farmers on the night came and thanked me for the help of local RSPB staff in filling in forms (at no charge) which led to HLS agreements coming their way and for the RSPB's campaign over the summer to protect agri-environment funding from potential government cuts. It was very easy to 'love these farmers to bits' - because they are 'stepping up for nature'.
This was the type of event that cheers me up. I had a stinking cold, had been late to bed the night before, early up that morning and had an almost 2 hour drive home from Ely in front of me - but as I left I was buoyed up by the warmth of the farmers in the audience and the obviously good working relationships that we have with them.
The Fens are special - big skies and open landscapes. Together we can fill the air with the sound of buzzing bumblebees and singing skylarks - we can turn up the volume on the Fenland Futurescape.
Well more or less completely agree Mark and on reflection as you say a larger % of farmers should be wildlife friendly than the general public.My personal wish would be that by persuasion and getting farmers more interested in wildlife rather than seeing it as financial gain things improved as whatever it is you always get better results from interested people than from doing it to rules but of course you do need some financial incentive.My guess is as well that each individual thinks that the small part they can play is insignificant whether improving or destroying just as say general public a lot think the same about such things as energy saving.Think it is all about getting the information across and certainly agree the N F U could if so minded do this easier than anyone.
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