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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.
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  • Blog Post: If you haven't seen it yet....

    Check out Martin Harper's blog today - a guest post from Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, talking about the UK Government's ambitions for reform of the Common Agriculture Policy. Interesting stuff......
  • Blog Post: Happy New Year one and all!

    The turn of the calendar year is often marked by a review of the year that has drawn to a close. Thinking back across the last 12 months, I’ve decided to share just one thing from 2012. It’s an article by Fenland farmer Matthew Naylor. You can read it here . Why did I choose this? ...
  • Blog Post: Love actually

    I can gladly and in a rather proud and manly way say; I have never seen the film 'Love Actually' nor do I necessarily wish to (not even secretly!) but ‘apparently’ the film begins with a voiceover from David played by Hugh Grant commenting that whenever he gets gloomy with the state...
  • Blog Post: How proud are we of our wildlife friendly farmers in Northern Ireland?

    The answer is very!!! So much so that farmers from here have snatched the public vote and won the Nature of Farming Award for the past two years running, and now I am wondering if this year we can do it again? Visiting the applicant’s for this year’s awards farms, to judge them, took us to...
  • 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: Celebrate with a nice Burgandy!

    Much as I'm partial to a nice drop of wine, this time I'm talking about a butterfly. The Duke of Burgundy is a pretty little fritillary that lives on grassland or woodland clearings, mostly in central-southern England. It's range has substantially declined in recent decades, but in...
  • Blog Post: “Digging for Wildlife”: The Economics of Food Security

    Increases in food prices have raised consumer concerns around the affordability of food and our future food security. In today's blog, RSPB Environmental Economist Donal McCarthy tells us what recent trends in food prices might mean for food security and wildlife, both in the UK and more widely....
  • Blog Post: Nine ladies dancing

    I can’t exactly explain what makes me smile about the term ‘waggle dance’, but somehow its inherently amusing. But it is also fascinating; the waggle-dance is a figure-of-eight dance the honey bee uses to tell other members of the hive where to find food, water or a new housing location...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: LIFE under the spotlight

    What do you get if you mix an enthusiastic and dedicated bunch of farmers, volunteers and RSPB staff and stick them in front of an international audience from across the agriculture sector for a day? Lots of interesting discussions, real insight to the value of our farmland conservation work and plenty...
  • Blog Post: Is modulation fair?

    Check out Martin Harper's blog today to read our thoughts on the NFU's Fair Deal for Farmers.
  • Blog Post: Can you see what it is yet?

    Taken at Cereals earlier this year..... in one of the sugar beet plots that had been carefully nurtured to be at it's best for the farming public to scrutinise was a litter of leverets. They seemed unperturbed by the 27,000 strong crowd, and made many people smile. And a smile is always worth sharing...
  • Blog Post: Creating space for a battling midfielder

    Back in the Wilkinson years, before Batty turned England Captain, before Kamara turned Sky pundit, and before Eric turned Red, I was a Leeds fan. Me and Dad had season tickets in the East Stand and never missed a home game. Eventually the endless 0-0 draws under George Graham put me off football altogether...
  • Blog Post: Just how good does de-regulation taste after the horsemeat scandal?

    On Wednesday a new report was launched at the NFU conference which calls for faster deregulation in the farming and food processing sector to boost competitiveness and cut costs. The timing of this is interesting given the recent horsemeat scandal. Among other things the report recommends publicly...
  • Blog Post: The Inglorious Aphids

    Farmers are always looking for the best solutions to common problems particularly when it comes to yields. Oscar Wilde once said “Even though we are in the gutter, some of us are still looking up at the stars”. In some ways this can be applied to farming (in the nicest possible way!). However...
  • Blog Post: Nature & Farming Judgement Day on June 29th?

    The signs from the EU in the last few days are that the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, is considering major cuts to pillar two of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). An essential fund that amongst other things pays farmers and landowners to manage their land in wildlife...
  • Blog Post: Unlocking the CAP’s green potential

    By Jenna Hegarty, Senior Agriculture Policy Officer The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform negotiations are in full swing and much of the attention has been on controversial ‘greening’ proposals for Direct Payments (Pillar I). So we felt it was high time to shine the spotlight on...
  • Blog Post: Winning for wildlife

    This time of year is always quite exciting for me – lots of things to see and do in the countryside and hopefully the odd sunny day here and there... But for the last four years there’s been something else to get excited about – finding out who our winners are in the RSPB Telegraph...
  • Blog Post: We’ve found Northern Ireland’s Wildlife Ambassadors 2012!

    By Hayley Sherwin, Volunteer and Farmer Alliance Project Officer, Northern Ireland With the action of farmers across Northern Ireland, we are working towards safeguarding farmland wildlife for future generations. After visiting farms as part of the judging process for the RSPB Telegraph Nature of...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Caravan of love

    I have childhood memories of long hot journeys to summer holidays in Cornwall. Our small stuffy car was packed to the gunwales with my gran, 2 parents, us three kids and one dog. My Dad would groan and complain bitterly when we got stuck behind a caravan on the single carriageway roads. Our car was not...
  • 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: 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.
  • Blog Post: More on Martin's blog

    Yesterday I recommended reading Martin's blog for our views on predation. Check it out again today for more news about predation and the fortunes of some of our wonderful - but waning - waders, and the impact of agrienvironment schemes. Redshank: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
  • Blog Post: LIFE after (budget talks) death

    Rob Kynaston, Nature of Farming Award finalist 2011, and committed wildlife-friendly farmer The collapse of the EU budget talks in Brussels last week was no real surprise – and hopefully (as some commenting on Martin Harper’s blog on Friday said), it will allow more time to develop a better...