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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
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
Lapwings breeding at Hope Farm
Lapwings, along with skylarks, are iconic farmland birds, easily recognised by anyone. The lapwings’ calls, as they swoop over the fields displaying, is one of the first signs that spring has arrived and winter has broken. Once a common breeding bird across most of Britain, numbers have declined...
22 Jun 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
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
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
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
The Hope Farm Bird Indicator has gone up by 211% - what does that mean?
It has been another fantastic summer for birds at Hope Farm, our arable farm in Cambridgeshire, with the Farmland Bird Indicator going up again, albeit slightly since 2010. The index is now 211% above what it was when the RSPB took over the farm in 2000. This is huge when you consider that the national...
5 Oct 2011
Barn Owls return to breed at Hope Farm
By Derek Gruar, RSPB Conservation Science, Hope Farm All inspections and ringing of nesting barn owls on the farm are covered by a Natural England S1 Disturbance Licence. For only the second time in the eleven years since RSPB became the owners of Hope Farm, we are pleased to be the custodians...
25 Sep 2011
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