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Welcome to this group for all farmers and anyone with an interest in farming. Read our blog to see how we're working with farmers and to find out where you can meet us at events.
Results for Farmland birds, HLS
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  • Blog Post: What birds are wintering on your farm?

    Winter is a tough time for wildlife, but especially so for those species which call farmland home. Many farmland bird species such as grey partridge, yellowhammer and corn bunting depend on seeds to survive. Other species such as thrushes and bullfinches depend on berries, fruit and grubs found along...
  • Blog Post: Hope for the future of agri-environment delivery in England?

    With the successor to the previous agri-environment schemes in England nearing it's final stages of development, Farming Minister George Eustice made a trip to visit the RSPB's Hope Farm earlier this month to see how we've been giving nature a home on the farm. Image: George Eustice...
  • Blog Post: Stone-curlews past and present

    Posted on behalf of Andrew Holland, Farmland Project Officer in the Brecks Stone-curlews are an amazing and instantly recognizable bird, with their large yellow eyes and long yellow legs. They fly hundreds of miles each year to areas which have stony, light sandy soils to breed in England, these include...
  • Blog Post: The plot thickens...

    February. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who still has a carpet, you’re soaked, it’s dark, and there’s still nearly a year to wait for Christmas. If it’s not the storms that are surging, then it’s the fog that’s freezing, and there’s no sign of any...
  • Blog Post: Farming for waders

    Posted on behalf of Dr Rebecca Laidlaw, Conservation Scientist Last year Dr Jen Smart wrote a guest blog for Martin Harper called “Where have all the waders gone and how are we going to get them back?” In that blog, she identified some key things that will be important if our vision of...
  • Blog Post: A Partridge in an Oil Field

    To be honest I’m not known for my love of Christmas carols, but at our department Christmas lunch and get together, the team that I work in gave a slightly different rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas with each day related to our work areas. This included providing swifts with nest holes...
  • Blog Post: Choosing for the Children at Christmas

    “How’s your Christmas shopping going?” I’m usually the person who doesn’t get started till Christmas Eve, so I dread the question, especially when it comes from one of those super-shoppers that cleaned up on Black Friday! At this time of year, people spend lots of...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: A Heart-Warming Story – but only if you read it to the end!

    I know, it’s Friday 13 January, you’re skint, you’re cold and the Summer Hols seems a long dark way away. I’m sure you don’t need to be depressed any further. However, with the Twelve Days of Christmas just recently come to an end (and most of us still struggling to shift...
  • Blog Post: Mind the (Hungry) Gap

    Is it nearly Spring yet? Well, it depends who you ask. While we patiently hang on for the 21 March, optimistic Celts have already celebrated Imbolc on 1 February. Its arrival was also heralded on 1 February by chicken farmers the world over, as they celebrated the day of their patron saint, St Brigid...
  • Blog Post: A positive outlook?

    In my office, I'm often mocked for my eternal optimism. Even when asked the question "What can we do about farmland bird declines?" my answer would be 'Lots!" I'm positive that the future could be much brighter for many of the specialist birds that depend on farmland for survival...
  • Blog Post: A new Holland, but not the tractor variety!

    Posted on behalf of Andrew Holland, Brecks Farm Conservation Adviser Andrew is one of the newest members of our farm advice team, based in the Brecks in East Anglia. Here he tells us what inspired him to make the change from farming to working with the RSPB, and how he'll be helping wildlife-friendly...
  • Blog Post: It's Good to Talk

    Weather. We all love to talk about it, none more so than farmers. Here in the Cambridgeshire Fens we are in the paradoxical position of having just had the second wettest April since records began but being one of the counties still worst hit by drought. As you can imagine that’s giving us plenty...
  • Blog Post: It's the Little Things...

    Don’t you find that the world always seems better when you’re out in the fresh air, enjoying the steady arrival of spring? We outdoor types on the Eastern England farmland advisory team certainly think so. Looking at various winged things with RSPB and Buglife farmland bods ...
  • Blog Post: Plump and Chirpy

    by Stuart Croft - Cirl Bunting Reintroduction Field Officer Go back a couple of generations and the plight of one particular species was not a good one. The cirl bunting – a sparrow-sized bird, closely related to the yellowhammer - gets its name from an Italian translation meaning plump and...
  • Blog Post: The Village Bunting’s Out for Easter in the Fens

    Spotted on my way home from work – a 100-strong mixed flock of buntings and yellowhammers , with the odd tree sparrow thrown in for good measure. Tweeting, jangling hissing and popping away, they are restless, exuberant and full of spring energy, torn between winter flocking behaviour and breaking...
  • Blog Post: Showing MEPs how farming and nature conservation can go hand in hand

    Over the summer months, the RSPB has met with many MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) to discuss topics as varied as seabird by-catch from fishing fleets to biodiversity in the UK’s overseas territories. For two MEPs in July, the focus of our meetings was to demonstrate how farming and...
  • Blog Post: A farmland bird spectacle in Derbyshire

    I was asked if I could do a bird survey on a farm to support a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) application and could not turn down the opportunity to nosey around a part of Derbyshire that I knew little about. So it was a very early start on Saturday to travel up to a hill farm on the edge of the Peak...
  • Blog Post: Glorious Bustards

    By Andrew Taylor, Great Bustard LIFE+ Project Adviser Thanks to a reintroduction project on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, the great bustard can now be seen on farms in south west England for the first time since the early 19 th Century. Perhaps the UK’s rarest farmland bird, this spectacular...
  • Blog Post: Here’s one we prepared earlier...

    I LOVE this time of year! Is it the long days? The celebrations? The countryside bustling with life? All these things! But most of all it's because it’s the time of year I get to make farmers pose self-consciously for photos in patches of pretty flowers! Awk-ward! Meet my latest victim...
  • Blog Post: Step into my Office

    Welcome to my office. I reckon it’s one of the biggest in the UK. Vaguely speaking, the ‘walls’ are the A14 to the south, the Cambridgeshire border to the west, the start of the sandy Brecks to the east, and to the North... Well I haven’t quite decided but it’s somewhere...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Cirl Bunting Bulletin

    When was the last time you had a cirl bunting on your farm? My guess is unless you live in Devon or parts of Cornwall you’ve probably never heard of them. These relatives of yellowhammers, until the turn of the 19 th century, had a stronghold throughout southern England and into parts of...
  • Blog Post: 6 get out in the countryside

    The agriculture policy team at the lodge spend much of their time in meetings in Defra offices, sat at our desks, or on trains to Brussels. So the opportunity to get out on farms and talk to farmers is something we all relish. So it was that when Stephen and Lynn Briggs asked us to come and visit Whitehall...
  • Blog Post: Who’s ever heard of the bull-nosed swollen-knee?

    By Nick Tomalin, Stone-curlew Project Officer Who’s ever heard of the bull-nosed swollen-knee? No? How about Burhinus oedicnemus ? Still nothing? What if I said stone-curlew ? Now I hear a tiny groan of recognition, though I suspect that many of those who have heard of the species may already...