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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
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  • Blog Post: Weathering the weather

    By Derek Gruar, Senior Researcher, Hope Farm One of the core tasks here at Hope Farm is monitoring the numbers of birds that are actually using the farm. In summer this requires walking the farm boundaries and recording birds that are seen and heard onto maps. Compared to winter this is straight...
  • Blog Post: LIFE under the spotlight

    What do you get if you mix an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of farmers, volunteers and RSPB staff and stick them in front of an international audience from across the agriculture sector for a day? Lots of interesting discussions, real insight to the value of our farmland conservation work and plenty...
  • Blog Post: The Hope Farm Bird Indicator has gone up by 211% - what does that mean?

    It has been another fantastic summer for birds at Hope Farm, our arable farm in Cambridgeshire, with the Farmland Bird Indicator going up again, albeit slightly since 2010. The index is now 211% above what it was when the RSPB took over the farm in 2000. This is huge when you consider that the national...
  • Blog Post: Hope Farm: Twelve years of hard work, learning and great success

    2012 is a truly auspicious year in Britain, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and a certain sporting event that cannot be named for legal reasons. But it is also an auspicious year in the sleepy Cambridgeshire hamlet of Knapwell, home to Hope Farm , the RSPB’s 180 hectare arable farm. Changing...
  • Blog Post: Want practical advice on how to build wildlife conservation into your farm management?

    Come on an RSPB training course! Whether you're an arable farmer who wants to get the best from your agri-environment scheme , or an advisor looking to help clients to integrate conservation into their land management, we can offer you expert training at various locations around the country. Courses...
  • Blog Post: A difficult cropping year at Hope Farm

    The weather dictates everything in farming whether you are an arable or livestock farmer. For us as an arable farm cultivations, spraying operations and harvesting are all at the mercy of the weather. Crop growth is also very much affected by the weather. © Andy Hay, RSPB Images When wheat...
  • Blog Post: Keeping yourself grounded

    By Nick Tomalin, Wessex Farmland Projects Manager Image courtesy of RSPB Images. Spreading hedge parsley. As an enthusiastic nine year old I was always looking up. Partly this was down to a cheery disposition, partly because I was shorter than everyone else at that age, and partly it was due...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: What is the West Country?

    If, like me, you’re not from round ‘ere, then maybe it’s cream teas, ice creams on the beach, the wilds of Dartmoor, or rolling green hills. If you are “south westerly” then you probably have a very different opinion! Actually, for me, and RSPB, the West Country is Cornwall...
  • 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: 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: Turtle doves are now the UK’s most threatened farmland bird, according to new official figures

    The latest UK Wild Bird Indicators, published by Defra, the RSPB and the BTO, were released yesterday. The data covers farmland, woodland, wetland and sea birds, and worryingly shows turtle dove populations fell 21 percent between 2009 and 2010. It's not a straightforward issue - as migratory...
  • 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: My way is the flyway

    Just returned from the Birdfair this last weekend, a three day event with the aim of raising as much money for conservation projects around the world. Both Inspiring and fantastic! Described as the birdwatcher’s Glastonbury, The British Birdwatching Fair is jointly organised by the Leicestershire...
  • Blog Post: RSPB at the Oxford Farming Conference

    Blog post by: Richard Winspear, Senior Agriculture Advisor RSPB I had a great couple of days at the Oxford Farming Conference. We hosted a breakfast fringe meeting to celebrate the winners of the Nature of Farming Awards 2011 and launched the first Farmland Bird Friendly Zone. Martin Harper, our new...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: RSPB cattle in the prizes

    With a bit of a wash and brush up, a heifer born and bred on an RSPB Islay reserve wooed the judges at the recent Royal Highland Winter Fair , being awarded champion of her class. Named Banrigh Innse Ghall (Gaelic for ‘Queen of the Hebrides’), the 400Kg charolais cross was born into the 200...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Ploughman's Pickle

    By Niki Williamson, Fenland Farmland Bird Adviser We like overwintered stubble in the Fens. It helps prevent the notorious ‘fen blow’, a terrifying local weather phenomenon, where dark clouds of loose peat blast across the countryside like black sandstorms, making it look like the end...
  • 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...