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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, farming, agriculture
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 34 and counting...exciting news from The Great Crane Project in Somerset

    We are now well into the second year of the Great Crane Project – and have spent the spring and summer hatching and rearing another batch of cranes to joint the eighteen birds that were released last year. This brings the number out on the Somerset Levels and Moors to 34. After three weeks of ‘anchoring’...
  • Blog Post: Summer screams out and Autumn flocks in

    Last V&FA Diary of the year: Surveyor – Marcus Nash – North Norfolk , 31st July 2011 I have cut this right to the wire, but I just manage to squeeze in a fourth survey on the farm in the village. Finally, we are getting some warm, dry weather. Sunrise is 5.22am, so the sun has just...
  • 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: 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: The thrills of Combines and golden fields!

    I have to confess I get as excited about the first combine harvester coming into action each summer as I do about the first swallows & swifts arriving back from Africa each spring. While the arrival of the first swallow symbolises the start of summer, and a feat of nature, that this little bird...
  • Blog Post: Make like a tree with LEAF...

    I lose track of the number of acronyms I come across every day, but there are some that are more memorable than others in this business. LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is one of them. As an organisation, LEAF work to promote the integration of environmental protection into farming and understandably...
  • 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: 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...