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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 Hope Farm
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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: A Turnaround for the Tree Sparrow at Hope Farm?

    The Tree Sparrow is one of our rarest birds associated with lowland and mixed farmland, having undergone declines of 90% between 1970-2012*. It was a source of great excitement therefore when 24 birds were photographed feeding at a supplementary feeding table on RSPB’s Hope Farm in November 2014...
  • Blog Post: On a High at Hope Farm: Results of the Winter Farmland Bird Count 2014/15

    On RSPB Hope Farm our monitoring work includes surveying both breeding birds during the summer and birds using the farm during the winter months too. The winter surveys are carried out monthly from December to February. On one morning in each month the whole farm is surveyed by a number of surveyors...
  • Blog Post: Hope Farm: Spring Update 2015

    There are definite signs of spring in the air here at Hope Farm: skylarks were singing all around me as I walked into the farm this morning, the first small tortoiseshells and queen buff-tailed bumblebees have been seen flying around the farmhouse orchard. While the winter was generally another mild...
  • Blog Post: Open Farm Sunday at Hope Farm, come and visit us

    Much has been written about the growing disconnect between the increasingly urbanised population of the UK, where its food comes from and the wildlife in the countryside. For conservationists this is worrying. Wildlife may become less valued and the importance of protecting it may not be fully realised...
  • 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: Hoping for farm visitors on Open Farm Sunday!

    Yesterday, I posted about Open Farm Sunday which takes place across the UK this weekend. This year, we're also holding an event on our very own Hope Farm in Cambridgeshire. Farm Manager, Ian Dillon, tells us more.... "One of the best parts of my job as Hope Farm Manager is showing people...
  • 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: 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: On the first day of Christmas

    I am really getting into the festive mood. Our Christmas tree is decorated, my desk is surrounded by tinsel, and in the evenings I’m busy planning my Christmas menu. We’ll be having free range duck from a local farm, with cherry sauce and all the trimmings on the big day, followed by my mother...
  • 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: Ashoka The Great

    By Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, Hope Farm Ashoka (Grahame Madge) Since the RSPB took ownership of Hope Farm back in 2000, we have seen several bird species colonise the farm including grey partridge, lapwing and yellow wagtail. A firm favourite of these re-colonising species...
  • 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: 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...