Well Done Jack
8 October 2012
Wildlife friendly farmer Jack Kelly from Ballyalton has been awarded a fantastic second place in the RSPB’s Nature of Farming Award. The award celebrates the amazing work farmers across the UK are doing for nature and is run in partnership with Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and The Telegraph.
Jack, the Northern Ireland regional winner, was in a nail-biting UK wide final and his vote count was very close with the overall winner, Henry Edmunds, who runs a 1,600 hectare mixed organic farm in Wiltshire. Hayley Sherwin, RSPB said, “We are all enormously proud of Jack for being awarded silver; he is an excellent wildlife ambassador for Northern Ireland and this competition is a great way to highlight what farmers are doing for biodiversity across the UK. We would like to thank everyone who showed their support for the finalists.”
Jack has put in place various practices and undertaken conservation work with a view to helping support the local wildlife; wild bird cover, conservation cereals, low chemical input and classic ‘A-shaped’ hedges are some of the options on Jack’s farm that provide food and shelter. Jack’s mixed farm is a haven for wildlife , including threatened bird species such as yellowhammer and tree sparrow. This year over 17,000 people showed their support for the wildlife-friendly farmers across the UK. Hayley Sherwin commented, “the huge amount of support Jack and the other finalists received shows that the public are great supporters of these farmers and recognise the important work they do to conserve nature and to help secure the future of farmland wildlife.”
Jack is extremely thankful to all the people who voted for him and plans to continue to farm in a wildlife-friendly way, Jack was presented with his award at Stormont on Tuesday morning at the RSPB Farmers Breakfast. This event recognised the work that farmers do and gave them an opportunity to discuss issues and raise questions with their MP’s, MLA’s and MEP’s.
The Nature of Farming Award is funded by the EU Life+ programme, safeguarding the future of our farmland birds under the EU Birds Directive.