• Clyde Valley Waders - Developing new approaches to wader conservation on farmland

    Dan Brown, Senior Conservation Advisor with RSPB Scotland tells us about some encouraging management trials that have been developed with farmers in the Clyde Valley to support breeding wader populations in Scotland
    • 1 Dec 2023
  • Hope Farm - 2023 in review

    Guest blog by Georgina Bray, RSPB Hope Farm Manager

    2023 has been another season of trials and tribulations, with strange weather to say the least. It was one with a few firsts for us again, trying a 2-way variety blends, more complex heritage blends (YQ Wheat), intercropping, and tramline trials in off the back of our oilseed rape pilot trial. This is alongside another year of the agroforestry trial (updated in another…

    • 30 Nov 2023
  • Agricultural Training opportunities - Vibrant Vyrnwy

    As part of the Vibrant Vyrnwy project, we launched an exciting new Agricultural Trainee Programme in September 2023. Our goal is to train 6 young people between the ages of 18-25 in conservation farming techniques; giving them a platform from which they can gain jobs within the sector, making a positive impact within the farming community, and benefiting wildlife.
    • 29 Nov 2023
  • Ways to support wildlife on lowland farmland using the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

    Richard Winspear, Agriculture Advice Manager, looks at how farmers in England can utilise the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) to deliver better outcomes for nature.
    • 9 Nov 2023
  • A peppermint playground for Stone-curlews

    Summerdown are the Peppermint People. They grow, harvest and distil their signature Black Mitcham peppermint on their Hampshire farm - and have been doing so for over 25 years.

    Black Mitcham is an extraordinary peppermint prized for its pure, bright character and it’s a taste that had been all but lost to England. Alongside other arable crops and herbs such as camomile and lavender, the Summerdown team now grow around…

    • 28 Aug 2023
  • Nature Positive dairy farming in Northern Ireland

    Ruairi Brogan, Policy Officer - Sustainable Agriculture with RSPB NI talks us through an exciting project underway with dairy farmers in Northern Ireland. 

    The RSPB Northern Ireland policy team have partnered with the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland and its member organisations Dale Farm, Lakeland Dairies and Glanbia Cheese to explore how dairy farms can play an active role in tackling the declines in farmland biodiversity…

    • 25 Aug 2023
  • Peat restoration at Lake Vyrnwy

    Hannah Woodall, Land Use Policy Officer with the RSPB Cymru team, tells us about a major peat restoration project being undertaken at Lake Vyrnwy.

    It’s an afternoon in mid-Autumn and I pull off the road at Gadfa leading to the Bwlch y Groes, the second highest pass in Wales, where I’m flanked by two sides of iconic Welsh uplands. The breeze is cool, but the bluest of skies and warm light illuminates the hillsides. It is…

    • 22 Aug 2023
  • Hungry for Change at the Balmoral Show

    Ruairi Brogan, Policy Officer for Sustainable Agriculture RSPB NI, offers an insight into his recent attendance at the Balmoral Show and how, with the right investment and support, nature positive farming can be good for business, climate and nature....
    • 25 May 2023
  • Our presence at agricultural shows this summer

    Andrew Stark, Senior Policy Officer - UK Land and Seas Policy, provides a round up of many of the agricultural shows and events we will be attending during the course of the summer. The RSPB cares passionately about agriculture, farmers and crofters,...
    • 23 May 2023
  • 2022 Summer Monitoring blog from Hope Farm

    Duerden Cormack, Monitoring Assistant at RSPB Hope Farm, reflects on the key findings of the core monitoring of breeding birds, butterflies, and bumblebees carried out at Hope Farm during the summer months of 2022. Reed Bunting at Hope Farm. Image (...
    • 12 May 2023
  • Survey finds two thirds of adults are concerned with wildlife decline in the UK

    Shelley Abbott, Fair to Nature Technical Facilitator, shares the findings of a recent survey highlighting that the UK's food and farming system is a key ally in the face of the nature and climate emergency.   European starling (Sturnus...
    • 10 May 2023
  • Hope Farm Winter Bird Monitoring Results 2022 - 2023

    Every year, winter monitoring at our arable Hope Farm in Cambridgeshire checks on bird numbers, to see the impact nature-friendly practices are having on our farmland birds. Across the 180 hectares, there were some amazing records of red list species, including Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Lapwing and Linnet to name a few. 

    Over on the Saving Nature with Science blog, Duerden Cormack, Monitoring Assistant at Hope Farm, gives…

    • 28 Apr 2023
  • Update on Hope Farm Technical Webinar Series

    A summary of the first Webinar in Hope Farm’s Technical Webinar Series 2022/2023, by Helen Mason, RSPB’s Investigations Intelligence Manager (on sabbatical at Hope Farm). Hope Farm Webinar 1 series 2022/2023 - Farming for resilience and a...
    • 10 Feb 2023
  • Wader friendly-farming – developing a wider network in Scotland

    Chris Bailey, Advisory Manager for RSPB Scotland, provides an overview of the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation project focused on increasing the number of farmers who undertake wader friendly management in Scotland

    RSPB Scotland proactively supports initiatives at both national and local level aimed at reversing the declines in waders, many of them working in partnership. At the national level, we are a partner in t…

    • 9 Feb 2023
  • Hope Farm Technical Webinar Series 2022/2023

    Join us for the 2022/2023 series of webinars, hearing from experts in the fields of research, conservation and the farming sector. From hedgerows through to beetles and then wider research projects on how nature-friendly farming techniques may help ...
    • 30 Nov 2022
  • A look back on 2022 – including our oilseed rape insecticide-free trial

    An opportunity to reflect on the last year at RSPB Hope Farm, by Georgie Bray, Hope Farm Manager.

    Winter is well settled in now on the farm, although it has been a long time coming. The scorching 40-degree heat of the summer seems a long time ago with everything looking damp, brown and muddy. As soon as our Autumn-sown crops were drilled it was a relief to see some decent rain to fill the water table. With a bit more…

    • 10 Nov 2022
  • Counting bumblebees for the ‘Volunteer Monitoring of Farm Wildlife’ project

    This year, the RSPB is piloting the Volunteer Monitoring of Farm Wildlife (VMFW) project.  Below is a diary account from one of our volunteer surveyors, Lynne Roberts. We are told that our farmland ecosystems are in crisis and that farms these d...
    • 10 Nov 2022
  • A recipe for success: Ensuring the Sustainable Farming Incentive restores biodiversity on farmland

    Richard Winspear, Agricultural Advice Manager, sets out the key requirements of the SFI's role in supporting farmers to build sustainable farming systems in England that support nature, and proposes an SFI Farmland Biodiversity Standard based on ...
    • 10 Aug 2022
  • The proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) in Wales is published

    Hannah Woodall, Land Use Policy Officer for RSPB Cymru, summarises the key goals and ambitions for the new Sustainable Farming Scheme in Wales. RSPB Cymru very much welcomes Welsh Government’s proposals for its new Sustainable Farming Scheme (S...
    • 9 Aug 2022
  • Hope Farm Agroforestry Progress

    To date over 1,000 trees have been planted in the agroforestry field at Hope Farm with the help of staff and volunteers. Sophie Mott, RPSB Carbon Farming Project Manager, tells us more. Over the winter we planted up one of our 11ha arable fields into...
    • 8 Aug 2022
  • The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit - A tool to help with woodland management

    Ecologist, Dr Jacqueline Weir, explains how The Woodland Wildlife Toolkit website has been developed in partnership with other organisations and experts to provide location specific advice and guidance to woodland owners, managers and advisers. In th...
    • 4 Aug 2022
  • On the lookout for Waders in the Dark Peak

    This year, the RSPB has been working with farmers and volunteers across the Dark Peak to map the locations of wading species on enclosed farmland ahead of the introduction of new payments for biodiversity through the ELM scheme.  

    Conservation Officer, Tom Aspinall writes about how the project came about and what it hopes to achieve in partnership with farmers in the Dark Peak.

    There’s something extra special about walking…

    • 27 Jul 2022
  • Regenerative agriculture on show

    To give us an insight into this year's inspirational Groundswell Regenerative Agriculture Show and Conference Shelley Abbott, Fair to Nature Technical Facilitator, summarises our presence at the recent event, and explains why it is so popular amo...
    • 8 Jul 2022
  • The opportunity to market produce as 'Fair to Nature'

    Mark Varney, Head of Fair to Nature on the importance of restoring nature as part of a productive farming system, and the benefits of joining Fair to Nature. As a nation, over recent years, we’ve seen policy-driven changes in agriculture cause ...
    • 25 May 2022
  • Farming and nature in Wales

    Hannah Woodall, Land Use Policy Office for RSPB Cymru outlines the effective ways that farmers in Wales are using nature friendly farming techniques to improve farm resilience and provide environmental benefits.   Farming in Wales is at its...
    • 23 May 2022