• Hope Farm Yields: crops and birds

    August is really the end of the farming year as the final crops are harvested, here at least, and also marks the end of the breeding season. So it seems a good time to do a round-up of how our harvest went and how our breeding birds fared.

    Both the crops and the wildlife on the farm are heavily influenced by the weather. Both need rain and both need sunshine. Little rain and the crops struggle to grow; likewise the vegetation…

    • 26 Sep 2012
  • Hats off to Henry!

     

    Wiltshire farmer Henry Edmunds has scooped the top prize in the 2012 RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award.  Henry runs a mixed organic farm on the Cholderton Estate with a motto of 'sustainable agriculture in practice'.  He is truly an ambassador for a modern farming business, and we heartily congratulate him on winning this year’s Award.

    Henry will soon be appearing on this blog to tell you what the…

    • 24 Sep 2012
  • How far would you go to raise a family?

    Harvest is never a particularly busy time for farm wildlife advice!  With my phone growing cobwebs, what better time to down Stewardship applications and escape on holiday to Iceland?

    A fabulous choice for nature enthusiasts as it turns out.  As well as breathtaking close-up views of Humpback Whales and White-tailed Eagles, it was fascinating to observe our UK wintering birds at the other end of their migratory journey…

    • 21 Sep 2012
  • Mountains and Moor

    Its an easy thing to be patriotic, I’m an Englishman, hatched and reared among the chalk horses of the Wiltshire countryside, and that for me is, as they say, where the heart is.

    Now living in North Wales, the same fondness the locals have for their homeland is evident, and understandably so, the mountains and moorland in the North and the Western coast are....well, they’re stunning. Though the only thing that…

    • 18 Sep 2012
  • Worth a read

    Earlier this week I asked you to spend a minute filling in a questionnaire about agri-environment schemes (which you can find here if you haven’t had time to do it yet).

     

    If you want to read what some farmers say agri-environment schemes mean to them, check out Martin Harper’s blog today.

    • 14 Sep 2012
  • Do you have a minute?

    Really, this will only take a minute, it’s free and will help us to help wildlife-friendly farmers.  And you might win a prize!  So what’s not to like?

    With CAP reform looming and potential changes to the support these schemes get from the CAP budget, we’d really like to know what that might mean for farmers.

    Please complete our very short questionnaire, which should only take a minute of your time…

    • 11 Sep 2012
  • Ashoka The Great

    By Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, Hope Farm

    Ashoka (Grahame Madge)

    Since the RSPB took ownership of Hope Farm back in 2000, we have seen several bird species colonise the farm including grey partridge, lapwing and yellow wagtail. A firm favourite of these re-colonising species is the charismatic barn owl, which returned to breed at the farm in 2009 and has subsequently returned to breed in 2011 and 2012…

    • 10 Sep 2012
  • Martha - I never really knew her.

    September is a very busy month, especially this year, for farmers and for me - there’s still more to 'get-in' on the harvest front, lots of work to do with cropping plans on farms and measuring out stewardship areas and....reflecting, lots of reflecting.

    September is normally a month for me to reflect with the farmers I work with on how good or bad the harvest is, how good we think the farmland bird breeding…

    • 7 Sep 2012