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North Yorkshire farmer wins Northern England nature conservation award

Last modified: 19 July 2013

Hunting barn owl

Image: Nigel Blake

A North Yorkshire farmer has beaten off stiff competition to be named as the Northern England winner in the RSPB’s 2013 Nature of Farming Award.

Richard Bramley of Manor Farm, Kelfield near Selby, won the regional round of the national competition in recognition of his achievements for nurturing wildlife and the environment while running a productive arable farm.

Now in its sixth year, the annual Nature of Farming Award celebrates farmers who work hardest to help threatened countryside wildlife, such as skylarks, brown hares, bees, butterflies and plants.

Richard now joins seven other regional winners in the battle for the national Nature of Farming Award.

Chris Tomson, RSPB Agricultural Adviser in Northern England, said: “Richard runs Manor Farm as a profitable business but he has also made it home to a huge range of wild plants and animals. Through wildlife-friendly farming schemes and his own initiative, he has undertaken a huge amount of conservation work for the benefit of everything from butterflies and bats to skylarks and hares. The farm throngs with wildlife and is a joy to visit.”

Richard has planted wildflower-enhanced grass margins around the outskirts of his crops, which is great for insects, providing struggling species of farmland bird with an abundance of summer food. He also sows wild bird seed mixes, which offer them sustenance in the winter months. Furthermore, he provides birds with a safe places to nest, planting around thousand hedge shrubs a year, supplying nest boxes for barn owls and tree sparrows and creating plots for skylarks and lapwings.

Richard preaches what he practices; he also oversees cropping and environmental work on another nearby farm, Hornington Manor and is both the regional and local chair for the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, which encourages farmers to put the wellbeing of the environment at the heart of the management of their land.

Richard Bramley said: “Fitting food production alongside environmental and habitat enhancement is something which I am convinced is an essential part of modern-day farming.”

Vote for Richard Bramley to win the national 2013 Nature of Farming Award at www.rspb.org.uk/farmvote.

Everyone who votes will be automatically entered into a free prize draw for a luxury break for two people with Millennium Hotels.  Votes can be cast until 31 August 2013 and the winner will be announced in September.

 

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