About the farm
In 2000, we purchased Hope Farm, an arable farm in Cambridgeshire. It is contract farmed by one of our neighbouring farmers.
About Hope Farm
In previous years, we predominantly grew autumn-sown crops because they were considered to be more profitable. Recently, we have introduced a greater area of spring-sown crops, to help deal with pernicious weed problems and maintain overall profitability.
During the first five years only two crops were grown - wheat and oilseed rape. These were grown in a three-year rotation (wheat - wheat - oilseed rape). The rotation has evolved to take account of market opportunities and help implement a robust integrated pest management programme, so for harvest 2016 we grew winter wheat, spring barley, winter beans, winter linseed and spring millet.
Along with the arable land, there is also permanent pasture, which is grazed by horses and sheep. The soil is predominantly heavy clay.
- Total farm area: 181 hectares
- Area of cropping: 161 hectares - harvest 2010
- Area of pasture: 6 hectares
- Soil type: Hanslope calcareous clay loam and Evesham clay loam
- Smallest field: 0.93 hectares
- Largest field: 34 hectares
- Length of hedgerows: 10.3 kilometres
- Area of woodland: 0.5 hectares
Our farming blog
Agriculture Bill – things are about to get real
Tom Lancaster, Principal Policy Officer, provides an update on the Agriculture Bill This week, the Government’s new Agriculture Bill will get its second reading in the Commons. As the first opportunity for MPs to debate the Bill, and all that it mean...Posted 09/10/2018 by Kathryn Smith
Squeaky bum time for farming and wildlife
By Tom Lancaster - Principal Policy Officer, Agriculture for the RSPB As conservationists, we’re sometimes accused of being hyperbolic, evoking the threat of ecosystem collapse in every tweet, blog or magazine article. With recent studies suggesting ...Posted 23/08/2018 by Kathryn Smith
Movement on rural policy in Scottish Government
A Scottish Government consultation on a transition to a new rural policy closed last week. The theme was ‘Stability and Simplicity’, setting out plans to make the next few years as smooth as possible for land managers and rural businesses as we trans...Posted 17/08/2018 by Kathryn Smith
A hard year for crops and wildlife means early preparation for winter at Hope Farm
Blog post by Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science and Georgie Bray, Hope Farm's Assistant Manager. Farming is a rewarding but very challenging test of resilience for many reasons. This year has been particularl...Posted 16/08/2018 by Kathryn Smith
Voting for Nature – say what you want to see in the Agriculture Bill
At this time of year, as the nation’s attention shifts to summer holidays and farmers across the country are busy with harvest, it’s hard to keep focused on forthcoming pieces of legislation and parliamentary procedure – but we must. The Secretary of...Posted 13/08/2018 by Kathryn Smith
Discounted RSPB handbooks available at a bargain price
We have advisors who speak to hundreds of land managers every year, supporting them in managing their land sympathetically. But did you know that there is also a wide range of land management handbooks available from the RSPB? These comprehensive gui...Posted 10/08/2018 by Kathryn Smith
How you can help
At Hope Farm, we're developing farming techniques that will benefit wildlife.