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Farming
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, farming, agriculture
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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: Hope Farm: 2014 has been so much better

    The last two years have been very challenging at Hope Farm with lower numbers of breeding birds than our high point in 2011, and disappointing crop yields. The summer of 2012 will long be etched in many of our memories with the incessant rain after a prolonged drought, which had a considerable impact...
  • Blog Post: Wild Bird Cover Crop helps Corn Buntings in Angus and Fife to Survive

    Tracking down corn buntings on several farms throughout Angus and Fife this summer was an amazing experience – walking for hours (and miles) on end through fields and pastures, often in the sunshine, listening to a variety of birds as well as the buzzing of bumble bees and talking to local farmers...
  • 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: Hope Farm inspiring and helping conservationists across Europe

    Since RSPB bought and started managing Hope Farm in 2000 we have hosted a wide range of visitors, from groups of farmers, industry representatives, government officials, MPs and Ministers. All have come to see how we have successfully halted and reversed the declines of farmland birds and farmland wildlife...
  • Blog Post: Fair to Nature farmers compete for title

    Today, we have a guest blog from Simon Tonkin , Conservation Manager at Conservation Grade. Simon explains a bit more about their Fair to Nature farmers, and asks for your support in celebrating some of the best farmers in a new competition. "By growing under the Fair to Nature protocol, all...
  • Blog Post: Highland highlights

    Two weeks ago RSPB attended the Royal Highland Show (RHS). Here, Chris Bailey, Advisory Manager for RSPB Scotland, reflects on the highlights from the show. The Royal Highland Show (RHS) is one of the focal events of the year for RSPB Scotland. With just under 180,000 visitors attending this year...
  • Blog Post: Pesticide analysis underlines need for more sustainable farming

    A major review of systemic pesticides – the best known of which are neonicotinoids - led by a range of leading scientists has confirmed these chemicals are already causing significant damage to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species. Additionally the authors have recognised the potential...
  • Blog Post: Blue skies, Cereals and greening

    It's been a busy few weeks on the farming advice front, what with Open Farm Sunday, show season getting in to full swing and the recent announcements on greening from Defra. If you haven't had chance to read Martin Harper's blog on our response to the announcement, you can do that here ....
  • Blog Post: Spotlight on Scotland: Part 3

    Over the last couple of days I've taken you East and North in this virtual tour of our work with farmers and crofters in Scotland. Today is our final stop - where we hear from projects in South and West Scotland.... Clyde Valley Wader Initiative The Upper Clyde Valley is one of the most important...
  • Blog Post: Spotlight on Scotland: Part 2

    Yesterday I introduced you to some of the project work that's going on in the North of Scotland to improve the fortunes of waders, bumblebees and buntings. Today, we travel East to find out what's happening there.... Farmland Bird Lifeline – recovery work for corn buntings in east Scotland...
  • Blog Post: A spotlight on Scotland

    Having just spent a glorious week in the Highlands, it seems very timely to turn the blog spotlight on some of the brilliant project work going on across Scotland . Because there's so much going on, I'll be posting a series of updates over the next few days. Today, we'll kick off with what's...
  • Blog Post: Award for stone-curlew protection project on Downton Abbey estate

    The popular TV series Downton Abbey and the stone-curlew, one of the UK’s rarest and most unusual birds, might not seem to have anything in common at first glance. However, the RSPB Wessex Stone-curlew Project Team has been working with the landowner at Highclere Castle in Hampshire where the...
  • Blog Post: Hope Farm update - it's not just the birds and the bees. Butterflies count too!

    The Hope Farm Winter Bird Index, calculated from whole-farm counts made during December, January and February, for 2013/14 is 6.84 . This is a slight decline from 2012/13 (7.35). However, it is the 3 rd highest winter index figure for Hope Farm since counts began in winter 2000/01 (baseline = 1) and...
  • Blog Post: Come and see us this summer!

    This time of year is always a busy period for us - not only are we out visiting farmers, carrying out early morning surveys and (hopefully) enjoying the weather, but it's also show season! This gives us a great opportunity to talk to lots of farmers as well as other advisors and agricultural organisations...
  • Blog Post: Farming to save the "fat man"

    Or the corn bunting to give him his proper name! The nickname 'fat bird of the barley’ comes from their rotund appearance and their association with cereal cultivation. Corn bunting by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com) Corn buntings used to be widespread throughout Europe, but are now one...
  • Blog Post: Sharing best practice across Europe...and beyond!

    The most worthwhile thing in my opinion about working for a nature conservation charity is being able to share our learning and in turn learn from others. For over 10 years, I managed volunteers surveying farmland for the Volunteer & Farmer Alliance (V&FA) project. In its later years, the...
  • Blog Post: Big Farmland Bird Count

    Just a reminder that the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust launch their first annual bird count today! All farmers and gamekeepers are invited to join in between now and 7 February - and all you need to do is spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area...
  • 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: Farming Together with Nature in East County Down

    Posted on behalf of Hayley Sherwin, Conservation Advisor in Northern Ireland For anyone who lives in or has visited east County Down you will agree that it is a beautiful region of Northern Ireland with an array of habitats and special places. You only have to travel down the Ards Peninsula with Strangford...
  • 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: Getting ready for the neonics ban at Hope Farm, and lessons so far

    The much-debated restrictions on neonicotinoid seed treatments will begin this December. The RSPB supports the ban but shares the concern expressed by many that farmers may resort to using greater amounts of other pesticides. Like farmers across the country we at Hope Farm are reviewing our pest management...
  • Blog Post: Mixed fortunes at Hope Farm

    Harvest at Hope Farm finished at the end of August, and ran smoothly in comparison to last year. Yields were variable though with oilseed rape and peas producing average yields, as did the first wheat. Our spring wheat yielded well above expectation, balanced by our second wheat which was exceptionally...
  • Blog Post: Watt a winner for wildlife!

    Congratulations to Nicholas Watts of Vine House Farm who has been unveiled as the 2013 winner of The Nature of Farming Award . For the sixth year running, you voted in your thousands to crown the UK's most wildlife-friendly farmer and Nicholas is truly deserving of the title, and he firmly believes...