Bird numbers taking off
Since 2000, we have seen a steady rise in numbers of arable farmland birds breeding at Hope Farm.
Linnets, yellowhammers and reed buntings and skylarks have at least tripled in number. Good practice farming such as cutting hedgerows and ditches just once every three years, coupled with creation of insect- and seed-rich habitats and our trials, have helped us attract new species such as grey partridges and yellow wagtails to breed on the farm.
How you can help
At Hope Farm, we're developing farming techniques that will benefit wildlife.
Farmland Bird Indicator
14 October 2011
In 1999 the Government set a target of reversing the decline in farmland birds by 2020. This is measured by the collective population trend of the 19 bird species that are most dependent on farmland in the UK – the Farmland Bird Indicator (FBI).
At Hope Farm, the same measure shows we have not only reversed the decline but produced a major increase since purchasing the farm.
Birds are not only flourishing in the breeding season. In winter, the number of birds using the farm has also increased. Regular visitors include fieldfares and redwings, large flocks of reed buntings and yellowhammers as well as our resident barn owls hunting at dusk over the stubble fields.
Species that contribute to the FBI include the corn bunting, goldfinch, greenfinch, grey partridge, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, linnet, reed bunting, rook, skylark, starling, stock dove, tree sparrow, turtle dove, yellowhammer, yellow wagtail, whitethroat and woodpigeon.