• Helping farmland bird populations to soar in the South West

    From Kevin Rylands, Farmland Conservation Advisor (South West England)

    The South West Farmland Bird Initiative (SWFBI) is an exciting partnership project that was set up to specifically help reverse the decline of farmland birds across Wessex. The Initiative targets nationally important farmland bird hotspots across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset as defined by the distribution of six of the rarer, most declining…

    • 31 Oct 2012
  • A poor situation

    Did you see the Daily Telegraph this morning?  They reported some stark figures from the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI; a charity that provides support for farmers in need throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland). 

    RABI have shown that many farmers are facing severe poverty.  They have paid out twice as much in emergency grants as they did last year.  A quarter of farmers are living below the poverty…

    • 29 Oct 2012
  • In our eyes Henry Edmunds is a star

    By Tracé Williams, Great Bustard LIFE Manager

     

    As I talk to this years Nature of Farming Award winner, Henry Edmunds, it becomes clear he is a true guardian of wildlife.  Henry’s farm, the Cholderton Estate in Wiltshire, has been managed by his family since 1880, with Henry taking the reins in 1975. Wildlife flourishes on the estate due to the sustainability of the farming methods used, many of which stem…

    • 26 Oct 2012
  • Getting wetlands just right for waders – it takes effort!

    I’ve always thought of nature as a pretty robust beast.  It usually wins in the end.  But if you want to give particular species or communities a hand, then I’m not above taking the occasional short-cuts.  

    Take wet grassland, for example.  On wildlife grounds alone, they’re one of my favourite places to be - boisterous lapwings, elegant curlews calling, bedazzling dragonflies and the ‘plop’ that means I’ve missed…

    • 22 Oct 2012
  • While stocks last..

     

    Fancy filling your belly for free?

    If like me you are a frugal type and not easily embarrassed, this is the time of year to scour Fen roadsides.  Lorries piled to the brim with spuds, onions and carrots are trundling back and forth as fast as they can go from the field to the packing plant.  You can generally pick up the ingredients for a full roast dinner!  As long as you don’t mind the meat ingredient being a bit on…

    • 20 Oct 2012
  • On Tour- Best of NoFA in the East!

    The Nature of Farming Award Tour of the best entries in the East this year is now in full swing- starting last week with RSPB Eastern England Regional Director, Paul Forecast presenting the Award to the Regional Winner... read about the winner and the other events in the tour below- and then why not book a place at one of them? We'd love to see you there!

    No less than five dates including a FREE LUNCH! celebrating this…

    • 16 Oct 2012
  • An 'irrelevant distraction from farming reform': a farmer's perspective on the badger cull

    The badger cull is a headline grabbing and emotive issue and while it’s clear what some people think about it (anti-cull activists, the NFU, the RSPB etc) it’s not safe to assume we know what all farmers think, even livestock farmers in areas affected by bovine TB.

    Take a look at this article by Gloucestershire cattle farmer, Dave Purser: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dave-purser/badger-cull-is-irrelevant_b_1952399…

    • 12 Oct 2012
  • Farmer Breakfast at Stormont

    Guest blog by John Martin, Conservation Manager - Policy and Advocacy, Northern Ireland Headquarters

    RSPB Northern Ireland recently hosted a ‘Farmer Breakfast’ for over 75 guests in Parliament buildings on the Stormont Estate. This was an opportunity to celebrate the great work of our wildlife friendly farmers and to give them the chance to meet politicians and key civil servants involved in farming policy.…

    • 9 Oct 2012
  • Pester Power

    The UK Government is currently consulting on its National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and here’s why I think everyone should respond...

    For some farmers they are a last resort, used very occasionally when all else has failed; but probably for most they are a routine part of producing a crop.   At any rate, pesticides are a fact of modern farming. 

    Across most UK arable land pesticides are…

    • 1 Oct 2012