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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.
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  • Blog Post: Brexit - what does the future hold for farming?

    Posted on behalf of Senior Policy Officer Tom Lancaster We’re often told by politicians at Westminster that ‘Brexit means Brexit’; but what does Brexit actually mean, and what does it mean for farming, land use and nature? Cattle grazing in cirl bunting habitat (RSPB-images...
  • Blog Post: New plans for Farm Wildlife

    A new and updated plan for arable farms has been developed by the Farm Wildlife partnership, and is now available on the website - www.farmwildlife.info . This plan brings together the knowledge and expertise of all the partners involved in the project to provide the essential habitats and farm management...
  • Blog Post: A round up of our summer show season for 2016

    August heralds the winding down of show season for us, and this year has been as busy as ever for the agriculture team. We’ve been all over the UK to talk about nature-friendly farming, and it’s a great way for us to catch up with friends in the farming world, hear about issues and successes...
  • Blog Post: Hope Farm: the return of the fat bird of the barley

    Regular readers of this blog will be well aware of the fantastic success that we have had at Hope Farm with increasing key farmland breeding bird populations since 2000: skylarks quadrupled, linnets quintupled, yellowhammers doubled, lapwings, yellow wagtail and grey partridge all colonizing the farm...
  • Blog Post: Farming, wildlife and Brexit

    In case you missed it - read Martin Harper's thoughts on the implications of Brexit for wildlife-friendly farming here . It's worth a read, and we'll continue to assess the implications for nature as further details become available.
  • Blog Post: Nature-friendly farming brings its own rewards: A focus on the Ouse Washes

    May is one of my favourite months of the year - spring is in full swing, 50% of the weekends have an extra day in them, and the days are getting noticeably warmer and longer. For wildlife-friendly farmers, it's a great opportunity to see and hear the benefits of their hard work as birds start to...
  • Blog Post: Have you seen a Monty?

    Montagu’s harriers , the UK’s rarest breeding birds of prey, have started arriving back in the country for the summer after spending the winter months in tropical Senegal in West Africa, and the RSPB is asking farmers and members of the public to report any sightings of the birds to help...
  • Blog Post: Crofting and conservation - celebrating 50 years of a very special partnership

    This year, the RSPB celebrates 50 years of giving nature a home on the Balranald reserve in North Uist. Bringing together an important partnership between crofting and conservation, read more from RSPB Scotland's Stuart Taylor here Machair habitat on RSPB Balranald (image: Chris Gomersall,...
  • Blog Post: If it's broken, fix it!

    Image: Shepherding black-faced sheep at Kinnabus (rspb-images.com) That is just what the Scottish Food Coalition would like to see for our current food system. This coalition is supported by organisations from across the environmental, health, social justice and farming sectors including the RSPB...
  • Blog Post: A year in the life of the corn buntings on Lower Pertwood Farm: Part 2 - Autumn and Winter

    Yesterday we took a virtual wander though spring and summer on Lower Pertwood Farm , and the challenges and opportunities faced by the important population of corn buntings on the farm. You can read it here if you missed it. Today, we head through autumn and into winter to find out how the farm management...
  • Blog Post: A year in the life of the corn bunting on Lower Pertwood Farm Part 1 - Spring and Summer

    As we welcome the official start of spring and all its wildlife glory, we'll be looking through the eyes of the corn bunting over the next couple of days, courtesy of some dedicated effort by farmers and RSPB staff in the South West of England. Today, we focus on spring and summer, but look out for...
  • Blog Post: Back to the Future at Hope Farm

    I grew up in Belfast when DeLorean cars were being made. Of course these cars were made infamous by the series of Back to the Future films of that era. While the films look dated now, the idea of time travel is still something we often dream about. I certainly dream about it. What did the Fens...
  • Blog Post: A vision for farming in Scotland

    Last year the Scottish Government launched a discussion document on the 'Future of Scottish Agriculture' and in it stated its ambition for Scotland to be a world leader in green farming. Since then, RSPB staff in Scotland have contributed ideas to the discussion on how to make these ambitions...
  • Blog Post: Big Farmland Bird Count identification workshops

    Farmland birds have been in decline for several decades, mainly due to changes in the way we farm. Some of the species that have declined are real icons of our countryside: grey partridge, lapwing, turtle dove, skylark and yellowhammer. Hearing skylarks singing in the spring and the purring of turtle...
  • Blog Post: Farming for the Future

    Guest blog from Darren Moorcroft, Head of Species and Habitats Conservation Every year in January, Oxford is inundated by farmers flocking to the two annual conferences which are now held there. It’s an opportunity to discuss existing challenges and set the new agenda for the coming year. ...
  • Blog Post: New research demonstrates healthy balance between food production and environmental benefits

    Guest Blog from Dr Rob Field , Senior Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science A while ago, a and I colleague wrote a short piece about some work we’d done examining the relative societal benefits of land in the east Anglian fens under a nature reserve compared to its being...
  • Blog Post: Trending at Hope Farm

    None of those who work at Hope Farm are social media junkies, but yet we cannot completely escape that world. Whether we’re exposed to Twitter, Facebook or even the BBC we see this term ‘trending’ everywhere. Yet, trends as opposed to trending are very important to us. They give...
  • Blog Post: Hope for China

    Over a year we have a very wide range of visitors to Hope Farm as I previously blogged about. The vast majority of visitors come from England as you might expect for a farm on the outskirts of Cambridge. Occasionally however we receive visitors from much further afield, and this morning we were very...
  • Blog Post: Calling all farmers - Get involved at the Oxford Real Farming Conference

    Do you have a brilliant idea for the future direction of your farm business or even a farming sector that you would like to discuss with a panel of experts? At the forthcoming Oxford Real Farming Conference , the RSPB are asking farmers to showcase their innovative business opportunities that benefit...
  • Blog Post: What do we want...?

    As conservation policy advocates, my colleagues and I spend a lot of time debating the finer points of UK and EU policies. What percentage of the Pillar 1 CAP budget should be modulated to Pillar 2; how should agri-environment spending be targeted; what rules should be part of cross compliance? Important...
  • Blog Post: Why farming matters to conservation and RSPB Scotland

    With over 75% of the UK land area being farmed, farming has a huge impact on all our lives and on the wildlife that calls farmland its home. RSPB works closely with farmers all over the UK, and with those that represent them. In this blog Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, discusses a reason...
  • Blog Post: Improving and monitoring our soils at Hope Farm

    With 2015 being the International Year of Soils it seems quite appropriate to be starting a new project to improve the condition of the soils at Hope Farm and monitor the soil biodiversity. It is stating the obvious that soils are absolutely key to growing good crops. Well managed soils will drain...
  • Blog Post: Hairstreaks and brocades at Hope Farm

    Much of the biodiversity monitoring that takes place at Hope Farm is focused on birds, as you would expect. Fifteen years of breeding and wintering bird surveys has shown just how well birds have recovered during RSPB ownership and management of this farm. But as we all know birds are just one part of...
  • Blog Post: Open Farm Sunday and other visitors to Hope Farm

    One of the real pleasures of working at Hope Farm is showing visitors around. Many of our visitors are specifically invited due to their areas of work, influence or interest such as the visit by Farming Minister George Eustice MP last autumn at a crucial time during negotiations about future agri-environment...
  • 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...