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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 arable farming
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  • 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: 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: 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...
  • 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...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • 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: 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...
  • 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: 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: 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...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Introducing our new farm advice package

    "Really good website" "Nice stand, informative and friendly staff." "Excellent idea." Just some of the comments we had on our stand at the Cereals event. We're particularly pleased because these comments came from farmers looking at our brand new approach to...
  • Blog Post: 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 ...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Nicholas Watts gives nature a home

    Nicholas is a top chap and his farm is full of farm wildlife, a real pleasure to visit. Nicholas constantly comes up with new ways of creating habitat, not frightened to try something new but equally not afraid to admit when things need to change. I always enjoy our conversations about farm wildlife...
  • Blog Post: In The Zone

    It’s good to be part of something special, a special band of people making a real change for the better. Isn’t that what people want to be ultimately? Belonging to a special community or a niche of society that others can look upon and admire? For instance I wanted to be a Jedi when I was...
  • Blog Post: Farmageddon!

    Posted on behalf of Niki Williamson, Fenland Farmland Conservation Advisor Imagine the scene. You’re sitting in your home surrounded by your family with a fridge full of nice food when, out of the blue, somebody bulldozes it down around you. Fleeing for your life, you take refuge in the nearest...
  • 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: Choosing for the Children at Christmas

    “How’s your Christmas shopping going?” I’m usually the person who doesn’t get started till Christmas Eve, so I dread the question, especially when it comes from one of those super-shoppers that cleaned up on Black Friday! At this time of year, people spend lots of...
  • 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...