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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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rare arable plants
South West England
South West Farmland Bird Initiative
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Introducing our new farm advice package
"Really good website" "Nice stand, informative and friendly staff." "Excellent idea." Just some of the comments we've had on our stand at the Cereals event today. We're particularly pleased because these comments came from farmers looking at our brand new...
12 Jun 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
Latest news on neonics
The debate over neonicotinoids continues, with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently publishing a scientific opinion on the risks posed by three of the main neonicotinoids on the market. For anyone not familiar with the subject: neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides widely used in...
17 Jan 2013
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
Hope Farm Yields: crops and birds
August is really the end of the farming year as the final crops are harvested, here at least, and also marks the end of the breeding season. So it seems a good time to do a round-up of how our harvest went and how our breeding birds fared. Both the crops and the wildlife on the farm are heavily influenced...
26 Sep 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
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...
30 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
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
A farmland bird spectacle in Derbyshire
I was asked if I could do a bird survey on a farm to support a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) application and could not turn down the opportunity to nosey around a part of Derbyshire that I knew little about. So it was a very early start on Saturday to travel up to a hill farm on the edge of the Peak...
30 Apr 2012
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...
24 Apr 2012
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...
6 Apr 2012
It's the Little Things...
Don’t you find that the world always seems better when you’re out in the fresh air, enjoying the steady arrival of spring? We outdoor types on the Eastern England farmland advisory team certainly think so. Looking at various winged things with RSPB and Buglife farmland bods ...
9 Mar 2012
Who’s ever heard of the bull-nosed swollen-knee?
By Nick Tomalin, Stone-curlew Project Officer Who’s ever heard of the bull-nosed swollen-knee? No? How about Burhinus oedicnemus ? Still nothing? What if I said stone-curlew ? Now I hear a tiny groan of recognition, though I suspect that many of those who have heard of the species may already...
1 Mar 2012
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