The annual RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award celebrates the fantastic work farmers are doing for wildlife – with a top prize of £1,000 for the very best!
It is the UK's biggest farm wildlife award, and 2012 was the biggest yet, with more farmers than ever before entering the competition. The Award is open to all farmers, whatever their farming system. It isn’t about having the rarest species, or the greatest biodiversity, it’s about doing positive work for wildlife.
If you're a farmer and interested in entering this year, fill out an application form and email or post it back to us.
How does it work?
We invite entries from wildlife-friendly farmers from across the UK. Our expert Farming Advisors then have the difficult task of identifying their regional winner, and great farmers who are pipped to the winning post are awarded Highly Commended.
A panel of judges then decides which of the regional winners go through to the UK-wide final. This is where you come in, as the overall UK winner is chosen by a public vote. In 2012 Henry Edmunds scooped the top prize, with over 17,000 people showing their support for wildlife-friendly farming by voting for their favourite finalist.
Every vote cast helps wildlife-friendly farmers know how much their efforts are appreciated. It also shows government how important wildlife is, and helps us work towards getting a fair deal for green farmers.
Why does the RSPB run a farming competition?
Farmland covers over 75% of the UK. That’s a lot of land, and a lot of space for nature – providing it is managed with wildlife in mind. Many UK species are highly dependent on farmland, and farmers are crucial to the long term health of our countryside.
Managing a farming business to be both a commercial success and a haven for wildlife takes particular dedication, time and care. We believe all farmers who are stepping up for nature on their farms and beyond deserve recognition, and that’s a good enough reason alone to run this Award.
Even more importantly, the Nature of Farming Award helps share knowledge of commercially viable wildlife-friendly farming practices with other farmers. This helps encourage even more farmers to do even more for wildlife.
Crucially, the Award helps raise awareness amongst the general public about the vital role that farmers play in protecting and enhancing the nation's wildlife. Great UK farmers need - and deserve - great support from those that live on our home turf.
We have joined forces with The Telegraph, Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation to look for this year’s top farms for wildlife across the UK. The Award is funded by the EU Life+ Programme, safeguarding the future of our farmland birds under the EU Birds Directive.