Close up of wheat

David Willoughby de Broke

David Willoughby de Broke

Lord David Willoughby de Broke's farm is a mixed unit on the Gloucestershire/Warwickshire border. It holds good numbers of farmland birds with five of the 'arable six' recorded. Birds are encouraged through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS).

The farm is working with the RSPB and Natural England to enter into Higher Level Stewardship (HLS), focusing on improving biodiversity. The farm manager Brian Hall has worked with David over the past 35 years to help increase biodiversity on the farm.

Management includes fallow plots in cereal fields for nesting lapwings, wild bird seed mixtures for yellowhammers and linnets, and the small mammals which are the prey of barn owls and kestrels, thrive in a network of rough grass margins.

The farm's flower-rich permanent set-aside and extensive grass margins support many butterflies and other insects including the nationally rare bumblebee, Bombus ruderatus.

Other wildlife management undertaken on the farm includes laying and creation of hedgerows, provision of nest boxes and the creation of several ponds, which support dragonflies as well as breeding reed buntings, reed warblers and tufted ducks. The presence of reed warblers also attracts cuckoos.