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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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Want practical advice on how to build wildlife conservation into your farm management?
Come on an RSPB training course! Whether you're an arable farmer who wants to get the best from your agri-environment scheme , or an advisor looking to help clients to integrate conservation into their land management, we can offer you expert training at various locations around the country. Courses...
20 Mar 2012
Want to help shape the future of food and farming in England?
Well now you can! Visit Defra’s new Green Food Project discussion forum and let them know what you think on topics including waste, diet, the role of new technology and how we should manage our land to produce a healthy environment as well as food. In the Natural Environment White Paper , the...
14 Mar 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
Playing by the rules...
Many of you will have followed the NFU annual conference last week and seen the Government’s long-awaited response to the Farming Regulation Task Force, chaired by Richard MacDonald. In it, the Government accepted most of the panel’s 220 recommendations, which aim to cut red tape in the agriculture...
28 Feb 2012
The wrong question - but the right answers
Did you hear Farming Today on Radio 4 this morning? EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş was interviewed at the NFU's Annual Conference. The opening interview question was " which is the most important role of farming - food production or environmental protection? ". It's a question...
22 Feb 2012
Get out the bunting
I've been in celebratory mood since last week, and after a few computer-free days away am back on line and keen to share the good news with you. You may have seen that last week we reported a huge increase in reed buntings at Fowlmere , one of our reserves in Cambridgeshire. We estimate that over...
20 Feb 2012
Looking for love
Sleek skylark with GSOH seeks warm-hearted farmer with a small plot of undrilled land to share lazy summer days for singing and possibly more. Text 0800 111 to come fly with me Bright meadow buttercup looking for a foxy foxtail to share lady’s bedstraw for a bit of variety. All welcome to make...
14 Feb 2012
Mind the (Hungry) Gap
Is it nearly Spring yet? Well, it depends who you ask. While we patiently hang on for the 21 March, optimistic Celts have already celebrated Imbolc on 1 February. Its arrival was also heralded on 1 February by chicken farmers the world over, as they celebrated the day of their patron saint, St Brigid...
13 Feb 2012
Make like a tree with LEAF...
I lose track of the number of acronyms I come across every day, but there are some that are more memorable than others in this business. LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) is one of them. As an organisation, LEAF work to promote the integration of environmental protection into farming and understandably...
9 Feb 2012
Looking for diamonds
Today the Queen has commemorated her Diamond Jubilee by reiterating her pledge to serve us all. Serving the nation is something UK farmers know all about. Providing food for our growing population whilst also being stewards of our countryside for future generations takes particular care and dedication...
6 Feb 2012
What do corn buntings and choughs have in common?
The current Cornish chough population (six breeding pairs in 2011) is the only one in England, having returned naturally to the Duchy in 2001. There is also a small edge of range population of corn buntings on the north coast of Cornwall and you can now see choughs and corn buntings feeding together...
31 Jan 2012
Weathering the weather
By Derek Gruar, Senior Researcher, Hope Farm One of the core tasks here at Hope Farm is monitoring the numbers of birds that are actually using the farm. In summer this requires walking the farm boundaries and recording birds that are seen and heard onto maps. Compared to winter this is straight...
18 Jan 2012
Bugs and Birds form alliance
If you want to help corn buntings what do they need? A load of large bodied insects during the breeding season is a good start. What about Tree sparrows? Well a good supply of water borne invertebrates makes for tasty meals for any young tree sparrow. Making room for farmland birds on a farm requires...
16 Jan 2012
A Heart-Warming Story – but only if you read it to the end!
I know, it’s Friday 13 January, you’re skint, you’re cold and the Summer Hols seems a long dark way away. I’m sure you don’t need to be depressed any further. However, with the Twelve Days of Christmas just recently come to an end (and most of us still struggling to shift...
13 Jan 2012
RSPB at the Oxford Farming Conference
Blog post by: Richard Winspear, Senior Agriculture Advisor RSPB I had a great couple of days at the Oxford Farming Conference. We hosted a breakfast fringe meeting to celebrate the winners of the Nature of Farming Awards 2011 and launched the first Farmland Bird Friendly Zone. Martin Harper, our new...
9 Jan 2012
Agriculture: Tomorrow’s Power?
Happy New Year! There's nothing like a good debate to get you back in the swing of things after Christmas! As seems to have become tradition for me and several others, 2012 kicks off with a trip down the A43 to spend a couple of days at the Oxford Farming Conference . It’s a great opportunity...
4 Jan 2012
By Niki Williamson, Fenland Farmland Bird Adviser We like overwintered stubble in the Fens. It helps prevent the notorious ‘fen blow’, a terrifying local weather phenomenon, where dark clouds of loose peat blast across the countryside like black sandstorms, making it look like the end...
16 Dec 2011
A positive outlook?
In my office, I'm often mocked for my eternal optimism. Even when asked the question "What can we do about farmland bird declines?" my answer would be 'Lots!" I'm positive that the future could be much brighter for many of the specialist birds that depend on farmland for survival...
15 Dec 2011
A practical guide to helping farmland wildlife....by farmers
Have you ever meet someone for the first time and just start talking as if you have known them for years? At a party, social evening or down on the farm? That is what exactly happened when I met Charlie Moores of Talking Naturally down on a farm in the Cambridgeshire Fens, when I was fortunate enough...
9 Dec 2011
Turtle doves are now the UK’s most threatened farmland bird, according to new official figures
The latest UK Wild Bird Indicators, published by Defra, the RSPB and the BTO, were released yesterday. The data covers farmland, woodland, wetland and sea birds, and worryingly shows turtle dove populations fell 21 percent between 2009 and 2010. It's not a straightforward issue - as migratory...
1 Dec 2011
Demise of FWAG is a big loss for agriculture
Thursday 18 th November was a black day for wildlife-friendly farmers, as FWAG went into administration after being the largest supplier of environmental advice to the agriculture sector for the last 42 years. They supported the greatest number of agri-environment scheme applications of any organisation...
28 Nov 2011
All I needed was the rain...
The exceptionally dry conditions in eastern England have continued through harvest and crop establishment. This has made crop management easier in some ways but much more difficult in others. Easier in that all our crops were harvested dry thereby avoiding additional drying costs, more difficult in that...
21 Nov 2011
Fat birds in the barley
By Sarah Blyth, North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Project Officer In my second year at college I did an ornithology module. My teacher was this bird mad FWAG advisor and he instilled in me a deep seated enthusiasm for the countryside and the birds that dwell there that’s never gone away. I was...
9 Nov 2011
I've got some great news to share, and Halloween seems the perfect time to share it. Halloween of course marks the zenith of the short pumpkin season, and I know a number of farmers that really grow pumpkins for their community, rather than making much profit. They see their friends and neighbours...
1 Nov 2011
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