Survey of plant rich field margin, RSPB's Hope farm, Cambridgeshire

Our starting point

In our first two years, we collected baseline data on the farm’s wildlife in order to see the effects of our experimental techniques.

Baseline monitoring

Knowing what we started with at Hope Farm allows us to see how our experimental techniques have affected the farm’s wildlife populations.

We found low numbers of once-common, but still widespread, species such as skylarks, linnets and yellowhammers at the farm.

Improving the habitat for birds is a priority, but we also hope that the changes we make will benefit other species. In many cases, helping one species means helping another. For example, increased numbers of insects means more food for insectivorous birds. Our monitoring programme includes butterflies, bumblebees, moths, hares and a variety of other groups.


Some of the highlights from our monitoring are:

  • Butterflies: 29 species have been recorded. The farm includes three transects which form part of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
  • Bumblebees: Seven species of bumblebee including the nationally scarce Biodiversity action plan (BAP) species Bombus ruderatus
  • Moths: More than 350 species of moth have been trapped using light traps including the BAP species white-spotted pinion and square-spotted clay
  • Fungi: The Huntingdon Fungus Group completed a one-year study and identified an incredible 491 fungal species including one species, Eutypa crustata, recorded for the first time in Britain.

How you can help

RSPB Hope Farm, Cambridgeshire

At Hope Farm, we're developing farming techniques that will benefit wildlife.