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Find out how we're working with farmers and where to meet us at events. Join in the discussion on farming issues and share tips for wildlife-friendly farming.
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Nature of farming award
rare arable plants
Stepping Up for Nature
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Going bananas for biodiversity
I walked in to my office this morning and found a cake tin sitting on my desk. I haven't seen the results of what came out of it yet, but apparently the polar bear it was used for made a little boy very happy on his 4th birthday! Funny really, as last night I was in a baking mood myself and made...
1 May 2013
Beefing up on biodiversity - How can I shop for meat and help wildlife?
While researching my article for Birds magazine, I had lots of suggestions for farms to use as case studies from RSPB staff all over the UK. One suggestion that particularly inspired me was the work that Amanda, Chris and Denise are doing on Peelhams Farm. So much so that I’ve just placed my first...
30 Apr 2013
Food for thought
If you’ve received the latest issue of Birds, you’ll know that I’ve challenged myself to shop in a way that means my cupboards are filled not only with tasty food that’s good for me, but also grown in a way that’s good for wildlife. I’ve always been conscious of what...
29 Apr 2013
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...
22 Apr 2013
Is modulation fair?
Check out Martin Harper's blog today to read our thoughts on the NFU's Fair Deal for Farmers.
28 Feb 2013
Fundraising for farm wildlife advice
Think of a wild place in the UK. It doesn’t matter where, just a place you think of as ‘wilderness.' It might be rolling moorlands and mountains, deep forest, fields stretching as far as the eye can see, upland bogs, or a network of waterways glinting in the sun. Many of you may...
19 Feb 2013
Confused by the complex EU budget issues?
Then check our Martin Harper's blog today . And if you haven't called for David Cameron to vote for nature yet - do it now here . There's still time to make a difference.
7 Feb 2013
Last chance to tell the PM to vote for nature
David Cameron will in Brussels for the next 2 days (7-8 Feb), at the EU Budget summit. What is decided there will have huge impact on farmers, wildlife, and our countryside. The budget for agri-environment schemes for the next 7 years is under discussion – but if the wrong decisions are made...
6 Feb 2013
On the 3rd day of Christmas....three French hens, two turtle doves.
Its fair to say I like my quail in the long grass giving it large with their ‘wet-my-lips’ call – I have actually seen quail only a few times in the wild, but heard them innumerable times. They are just so hard to see! So please for Christmas I’d really like to see a quail in...
15 Dec 2012
The EU Budget: why we can’t afford not to invest in the environment
By Jenna Hegarty, Senior Agriculture Policy Officer Later this month (22-23 November), EU leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron, will convene in Brussels to discuss, and potentially decide, the EU Budget for the 2014-2020 period. Big money is at stake – a whopping €7 trillion...
5 Nov 2012
Helping farmland bird populations to soar in the South West
From Kevin Rylands, Farmland Conservation Advisor (South West England) The South West Farmland Bird Initiative (SWFBI) is an exciting partnership project that was set up to specifically help reverse the decline of farmland birds across Wessex. The Initiative targets nationally important farmland bird...
31 Oct 2012
While stocks last..
Fancy filling your belly for free? If like me you are a frugal type and not easily embarrassed, this is the time of year to scour Fen roadsides. Lorries piled to the brim with spuds, onions and carrots are trundling back and forth as fast as they can go from the field to the packing plant. You can...
20 Oct 2012
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...
16 Oct 2012
Farmer Breakfast at Stormont
Guest blog by John Martin, Conservation Manager - Policy and Advocacy, Northern Ireland Headquarters RSPB Northern Ireland recently hosted a ‘Farmer Breakfast’ for over 75 guests in Parliament buildings on the Stormont Estate. This was an opportunity to celebrate the great work of our...
9 Oct 2012
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...
21 Sep 2012
Worth a read
Earlier this week I asked you to spend a minute filling in a questionnaire about agri-environment schemes (which you can find here if you haven’t had time to do it yet). If you want to read what some farmers say agri-environment schemes mean to them, check out Martin Harper’s blog today...
14 Sep 2012
Do you have a minute?
Really, this will only take a minute, it’s free and will help us to help wildlife-friendly farmers . And you might win a prize! So what’s not to like? With CAP reform looming and potential changes to the support these schemes get from the CAP budget, we’d really like to know what...
11 Sep 2012
There is such a thing as a free lunch!
By Gavin Thomas, Bowland Wader Project Officer Want to help wildlife thrive on your farm and boost farm income? Read on...... What : Free event – farm management for breeding wading birds When : 11:00 – 15:00, Wednesday 29 August Where : Lower Fairsnape Farm, Bleasdale, Preston,...
14 Aug 2012
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...
31 Jul 2012
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...
24 Jul 2012
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...
5 Jul 2012
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...
29 Jun 2012
Release of the new biodiversity indicators from Defra
Everybody talks about the long-term decline in farmland bird populations because this group has been effectively monitored for the longest period. But there is a growing list of other important farmland taxa that are being monitored including plants and butterflies. Defra released the 2012 report on...
30 May 2012
What’s your beef?
Some wrongly label extensive livestock farming systems as ‘inefficient’. A case study of the livestock farming system on one of our upland reserves highlights that these systems can provide a lot more than first meets the eye. Following a successful day at last year's ‘National...
21 May 2012
It's Good to Talk
Weather. We all love to talk about it, none more so than farmers. Here in the Cambridgeshire Fens we are in the paradoxical position of having just had the second wettest April since records began but being one of the counties still worst hit by drought. As you can imagine that’s giving us plenty...
11 May 2012
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