• What butterflies, and how many visit your farm?

    Zoë Randle from Butterfly Conservation highlights why butterflies are so important for farming and wildlife on farmland and recommends the RSPB Farmland Butterfly Survey method for monitoring them. This methodology is being used in the Volunteer...
    • 12 May 2022
  • An update on Birds of Conservation Concern

    Richard Winspear, Agricultural Advice Manager, cites important issues raised in the recent BoCC review regarding threatened bird species. Birds of Conservation Concern 5 Last December saw the publication of the latest review of the status o...
    • 11 Feb 2022
  • Corncrake Calling, Is it all about one species?

    In this blog, we explain about how RSPB Scotland staff are working with farmers and crofters through the National Lottery Heritage Funded Corncrake Calling project to increase the area that is positively managed for the species. Creating more land well managed for Corncrake has been shown to have wider benefits for a host of other species including plants, bumblebees and beetles.

    Just before Christmas, RSPB Scotland released…

    • 11 Feb 2022
  • Trap crop and companion cropping for insecticide-free oilseed rape

    Georgie Bray, Hope Farm Manager shares her experiences from the farm.  Trials and Tribulations at Hope Farm – Insecticide-free oilseed rapeIn recent years, we at Hope Farm have been hit by the same problems as most oilseed rape (OSR) growe...
    • 11 Feb 2022
  • How many pollinators visit your farm?

    Catherine Jones, from Farm Wildlife highlights why pollinating insects are so important for farming and wildlife on farmland and recommends a quick and simple method for monitoring them. In the UK, wild bees, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects...
    • 11 Feb 2022
  • Farming for Nature in Northern Ireland

    Ruairi Brogan, Sustainable Agriculture Policy Officer, brings us up to date on the future agriculture policy in Northern Ireland. Last month RSPB Northern Ireland responded to the Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Futu...
    • 11 Feb 2022
  • Silent Spring Anniversary

    Steph Morren, Senior Policy Officer reflects on the situation 60 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  We still face many of the same issues with chemical use, however, many farmers are now adopting innovative...
    • 11 Feb 2022
  • Series of farmer-facing webinars on progressive Integrated Pest Management starting tomorrow

    If you wish to join any of these webinars register using the links below

    Wednesday 2nd February, 19.00 to 20.30

    • 1 Feb 2022
  • Join for the 2nd Hope Farm Technical Webinar Series

    Last year, to celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we launched a Hope farm webinar series. The aim was to share lessons that we had learnt on the farm over the last 20 years, incorporating our main mantra which is to share wildlife-friendly, sustainable farming practices that make sense for the farm business. It was fantastic to be joined by the experts that we learn from, and have a wonderful audience that seemed to also…

    • 11 Jan 2022
  • An update on the Hope Farm cover crop and compost trial

    Guest blog by Georgie Bray, Hope Farm Manager Soil is the foundation that helps us to grow crops on the farm and look after so many of the species sitting at the base of the food chain in farmland ecosystems. Without healthy soils, crops suffer in ou...
    • 26 Nov 2021
  • What does the future hold for agriculture and food policy in Northern Ireland? A detailed look

    Ruairi Brogan, Sustainable Agriculture Policy Officer tells us more. Stormont, the Northern Ireland Assembly Building. Image (c) Simon Graham It’s been a busy period for the RSPB NI Policy & Advocacy team with the Department of Agricultur...
    • 26 Nov 2021
  • Welsh Agriculture Act and Sustainable Farming Scheme

    RSPB Cymru views the creation of a new Welsh Agriculture Act and Sustainable Farming Scheme as a unique opportunity to use taxpayers’ money to establish sustainable farming that helps tackle the nature and climate emergency. As such we welcome Welsh Government...

    • 23 Nov 2021
  • In review - the first year post-Brexit for farming

    Guest blog by Lucy Bjorck, Senior Policy Officer Whatever your views on Brexit there was always one obvious opportunity for radical change for the better and that was to leave the shackles of the behemoth which is the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP...
    • 22 Nov 2021
  • New rural development programme in Scotland - What does it mean for food and farming

    Guest blog by Andrew Stark, Land Use Policy Officer and Chris Bailey, Advisory Manager Scotland Since the last edition of Farming E-News, there has been several important developments in Scotland’s food and farming policy to update on. Whi...
    • 19 Nov 2021
  • The future of agri-environment delivery in England

    Guest blog by Alice Groom, Senior Policy Officer In England, Defra is currently reforming agricultural policies, replacing subsidy primarily with environmental payments. This provides a once in a generation opportunity to truly build a nature friendl...
    • 12 Nov 2021
  • Working together to restore nature on farmland

    Guest blog by Shelley Abbott, Fair to Nature Technical Facilitator, RSPB

    The twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change are increasingly forefront in the news. Especially here in the UK with COP26 just days away! But are they separate crises? Surely biodiversity and climate are closely intertwined, where changes in one have an impact on the other?! Human activity impacts them both.

    Image: Large skipper butterfly…

    • 8 Oct 2021
  • Volunteer Monitoring of Farm Wildlife

    Guest blog by Jenny Atkins, Agriculture Advice Project Manager

    During the last year in Cambridgeshire initially, we have been working on an inspirational scheme that trains participants to monitor a wide range of farm wildlife, provides multi-taxa surveys for farmers, introduces a greater diversity of volunteers to our work and delivers meaningful conservation outcomes yet remains cost-effective to manage. For the farmers…

    • 2 Sep 2021
  • Carbon and agroforestry at Hope Farm - new project underway

    Guest blog by Sophie Mott, Carbon Farming Project Manager and Georgie Bray, Hope Farm Manager

    Why are we interested in Carbon at Hope farm?

    Recently, hard to read science underlined the ever-closing gap in our opportunity to halt the increase in temperature beyond 1.5 degrees. A shocking statistic, and that is without the full understanding of what this may mean for nature, where we live, and our ability to farm. Given…

    • 2 Sep 2021
  • Valuing Our Peatland - Environmental and societal benefits delivered through peatland restoration

    Guest blog by Jonathan Bell, Head of Land and Sea Policy, RSPB NI and Ruairi Brogan, Policy Officer - Sustainable Agriculture, RSPB NI

    In Northern Ireland, peatland covers 24.6% of our land area and represent some of our most iconic landscapes. When healthy and well-functioning, these mossy, wetland soils can provide a vast array of benefits to society, from improved water quality, natural flood management, and carbon…

    • 1 Sep 2021
  • Farming with nature-based solutions at the heart

    Guest blog by Roisin Beck-Taylor, Project Manager - Policy Climate Change Task and Finish Group and Brittany Mulhearn, Senior Campaigner

    From lobbying government for new climate polices to helping our nature reserves cope with the effects of climate change, the RSPB is working hard to make a difference.

    We are seeing the impacts of extreme weather events caused by climate change on the people and places we love both here…

    • 1 Sep 2021
  • Food and farming that’s Fair to Nature

    Fair to Nature is the only UK farm scheme to deliver the scale of land management wildlife requires to thrive. Find out more about this gold standard for nature-friendly farming and how it is helping farmers to create and manage diverse and successful wildlife habitats and linking them up with like-minded businesses to create Fair to Nature certified products.
    • 3 Jun 2021
  • Review of Agri-Food must work for Nature

    Northern Ireland’s Agri-Food Sector can play a pivotal role in addressing the nature and climate nature and climate emergency, at the same time as providing economic opportunities for rural communities and supporting healthier, sustainable diets. An Independent Strategic Review of the NI Agri-Food Sector (ISRAF) will consider the challenges and opportunities facing the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland and will play…
    • 26 May 2021
  • Sharing farmer knowledge across the farming sector on ways to work with nature to reduce pesticide use – IPM survey.

    Guest blog by Steph Morren, Senior Policy Officer 

    Take the survey here

    Increasingly, farmers and other land managers are looking for ways to reduce their reliance on pesticides. This is due to a number of reasons including concern for the environment, concern for their health, concern about their soil health and concern about cost. As we move towards new land management schemes that will pay farmers for delivering public…

    • 25 May 2021
  • What the outcomes from the Welsh and Scottish elections mean for making our food system more nature friendly

    Guest blog from Andrew Stark, Land Use Policy Offer RSPB Scotland and Rhys Evans, Policy Officer RSPB Cymru


    A new Parliament

    On May 6th, Scotland voted in a new Parliament and Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). There were 129 seats up for grabs, with the following results: SNP (64), Conservatives (31), Liberal Democrats (4), Scottish Labour (22), and Scottish Green Party (8). Whilst the SNP were 1 short…

    • 24 May 2021
  • Curlews in crisis - curlew LIFE project launches

    Guest blog by Samantha Lee, Senior Project manager, Curlew LIFE project

    The UK breeding population of curlews has almost halved since the mid-1990s. This is not just a problem because we don’t want to lose this species from our landscapes, but because the UK is one of the most important countries for curlews, supporting approximately 40% of the European breeding population and about a quarter of the global population…

    • 24 May 2021