RSPB

Hope Farm

Why is the RSPB interested in farming? Farmland is crucial for many of our countryside birds.

Nowadays, farmland is a much more challenging place for farmers and wildlife than it used to be. 

To help find ways for modern farming methods and wildlife to co-exist, we bought an arable farm.

The RSPB started managing Hope Farm in 2000. It's a 450-acre farm near Cambridge.

We're developing new farming techniques which help both farmers and wildlife, while also making a profit.

Since we started farming here, birds and other wildlife have really benefited.

Here are some of Hope Farm's greatest successes.

Numbers of breeding birds have increased since we bought the farm.

Species which rely the most on farmland have increased the most (and they are the ones that need most help)

In 2010 there were 10 skylark territories

By 2015 there were 43 skylark territories

In 2010 there were 14 yellowhammer territories

By 2015 there were 35 yellowhammer territories

The Farmland Bird Index (FBI) is a national measure for monitoring numbers of farmland birds.

The FBI for the whole of England has decreased by around 10% since 2000

England fell 10%

But by 2015, Hope Farm's FBI had increased by 174% from 2000 levels

Hope Farm increased 174%

Numbers of birds that come to the farm in winter have increased.

The measure for numbers of wintering birds on the farm has increased by 1,778% since 2000

In winter 2000-2001, there was a peak count of 2 yellowhammers on the farm

In winter 2015-2016, there was a peak count of 723 yellowhammers on the farm

Butterflies

In 2015, numbers of butterflies were up 224% from 2000 levels

This was down to more flowers at the edges of fields, providing more food for butterflies

Bumblebees

We have three times as many bumblebees as a nearby farm

This is because the other farm doesn't have so many flowers around the edges of its fields.

Thanks for all your support! Hope Farm is a perfect example of how we can help farmland wildlife - and how we can work with farmers across the country.

How you can help save nature

Give a regular gift to Hope Farm. Your donation will help us continue our work here, as we show farmers and decision makers that profitable farming can also be wildlife-friendly.