The search begins to find 2012's most wildlife friendly farmer
Last modified: 02 April 2012
RSPB Scotland has launched its annual search to find the farmer that does the most for nature.
The Nature of Farming Awards, run by the RSPB with support from Butterfly Conservation and Plantlife, and sponsored by The Telegraph, aims to showcase the range of conservation measures being carried out by farmers across Scotland and the UK.
This year, judges are looking for farmers that can demonstrate they are actively managing farmland habitats for a range of plants and animals, whilst incorporating these measures into a successful farm business.
Last year’s competition attracted hundreds of entrants from across the UK but it was a husband and wife team with a philosophy that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand that won the hearts and minds of the voting public to become the first ever Scottish winners of the national award.
Somerset and Carolyne Charrington from the Isle of Mull impressed voters with their excellent understanding of diverse farmland habitats, managing their farm, Treshnish, to benefit a range of different species.
Chris Bailey, RSPB Scotland Advisory Manager, said: “It was fantastic to see a Scottish farm win the award last year and we are looking forward to showcasing more of the country’s wildlife friendly farmers in 2012. Throughout Scotland, farmers and crofters go to considerable lengths to integrate conservation measures into their farming systems. This competition provides an opportunity to highlight these efforts to the wider public, as well as promote conservation techniques amongst land managers. We would encourage all farmers who wish to promote the conservation management they have been carrying out, to enter the competition.”
After the closing date, entries will be shortlisted to eight regional winners, and then a panel of experts will decide which four should go through to the national finals. The overall winner is selected by a public vote and will win £1000.
A record breaking 22,000 people across the UK voted for their favourite finalist in last year’s competition.
The closing date for entries is the 20th April. All the details on how to enter can be found on the RSPB website at www.rspb.org.uk/natureoffarming or by phoning 0131 317 4100.
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