• Strange but true


    I know this is an odd request, but I'd be really grateful if you could collect owl pellets and post them to us.  We need them to help educate youngsters about the importance of the UK's wonderful wildlife-friendly farmers.

    Really??  Yes....

    We use owl pellets at family fun days - children dissect the pellets as they learn about what owls eat and where they live.  Farmland is an incredibly important habitat for owls…

    • 29 Sep 2011
  • 34 and counting...exciting news from The Great Crane Project in Somerset

    We are now well into the second year of the Great Crane Project – and have spent the spring and summer  hatching and rearing another batch of cranes to joint the eighteen birds that were released last year.  This brings the number out on the Somerset Levels and Moors to 34.  After three weeks of ‘anchoring’ within a pre-release aviary through August, the 16 new birds are now free to come and go from the release pen…

    • 27 Sep 2011
  • Barn Owls return to breed at Hope Farm

    By Derek Gruar, RSPB Conservation Science, Hope Farm

    All inspections and ringing of nesting barn owls on the farm are covered by a Natural England S1 Disturbance Licence.

    For only the second time in the eleven years since RSPB became the owners of Hope Farm, we are pleased to be the custodians of a family of barn owls nesting in one of the three special owl nest boxes that we have sited around the farm.


    • 26 Sep 2011
  • Cornish Dumplings Sir, or do you prefer Biscuits?

    By Ian Dillon, Hope Farm Manager

    As we enter the autumn it is time to reflect on the harvest and breeding season at Hope Farm. Farming is always a challenging business. Not enough rain, too much rain, too cold, crop damage from woodpigeons or rabbits, cost of fertiliser – the list of events that can seriously impact on how much wheat, oilseed rape or field beans is grown is endless.

    This year was definitely…

    • 26 Sep 2011
  • Creating space for a battling midfielder

    Back in the Wilkinson years, before Batty turned England Captain, before Kamara turned Sky pundit, and before Eric turned Red, I was a Leeds fan.  Me and Dad had season tickets in the East Stand and never missed a home game.  Eventually the endless 0-0 draws under George Graham put me off football altogether, so nowadays, I use my spectating experience to help me judge land areas. 

    Have a go – picture yourself on the pitch…

    • 23 Sep 2011
  • Budget cuts hits Scottish farmers

    RSPB Scotland warns the countryside will suffer after yesterday's announcement that the Scottish Government's Spending Review will cut a further £10m from agri-environment budgets. Read what Stuart Housden, RSPB Scotland Director had to say here... 

    • 22 Sep 2011
  • A score for Scotland!

    Isle of Mull farmers Somerset and Carolyne Charrington have been crowned king and queen of UK wildlife friendly-farming in this year's RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award.  Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland luckily missed the skirts of hurricaine Katia that swept across Scotland earlier in the week and was able to present their award in the sunshine. 

    The good weather gave Stuart a chance to take in the…

    • 16 Sep 2011
  • An inspiring farm walk

    BASF held an event at one of their Demonstration Farms today. There were some highly influential visitors there, including RT Hon Jim Paice (Minister of State for Agriculture), Helen Phillips (Chief Executive for Natural England) and Meurig Raymond (Deputy President of NFU). There were also some good friends from the small world of environmental advisors, including Peter Thompson (Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust…

    • 13 Sep 2011
  • Dairy and Livestock event

    We had a good couple of days at the Dairy and Livestock event, meeting farmers and keeping up with recent developments in the industry.  This show is now Europe’s leading event for the livestock sector with over 16,000 visitors.  There were elaborate stands, demonstrations of the latest technology and copious free ice cream. From this year, the event also incorporated the All Breeds Show, although the NEC still seems…

    • 12 Sep 2011
  • All wonderful in the world of water?

    The news has been awash over recent weeks with tales of the transformation of our rivers from horribly polluted sewers to clean beauties sparklingly full of life like otters and salmon.

    There is of course progress to celebrate. No one is going to argue that the Thames, Wear or many other rivers that have been blighted by industry and sewage have not improved over the past twenty years. But to suggest a selection of the…

    • 6 Sep 2011
  • Next week we will be at the European Dairy Event at the NEC – Just how much space for nature can we expect modern dairy farms to provide?

    Farming has never stood still, but few of its sectors have changed as much as dairying over the last few decades. Dairy farmers have been declining as fast as some of our farmland wildlife: in the past ten years alone, the number of dairy farmers has halved in England and Wales, and fallen by a third in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    Those remaining in the industry have needed to find efficiencies wherever they can…

    • 2 Sep 2011
  • Advisory Team Wales Reach New Heights

    It’s been a busy few weeks for us here in Wales. The Royal Welsh Show kicked things off back in mid July, the biggest  and best attended event of its kind in the UK, with four days of good weather and a huge number of visitors to the stand, so many in fact, we ran out of our increasingly popular ‘Tractor Cab Guide to Farmland Birds’ halfway through the final day. 

    A highlight of the show for many of…

    • 1 Sep 2011