Regional winners - 2011
The standard of competition was very high, and all eight regional winners in 2011 have showed great dedication to helping wildlife on their farms and beyond.
Robert Law - Hertfordshire
This 15-square kilometre conservation-grade farm is a shining example of the integration of wildlife-friendly farming into a successful commercial business.
Robert supplies oats for Jordans Cereals, who pioneered Conservation Grade.
It includes a chalk grassland SSSI, woodlands and 12 square kilometres of arable production. 10 per cent of this is managed for wildlife, making maximum use of agri-environment schemes.
Corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing and skylark abound, and careful sheep-grazing allows rare chalkhill blue butterflies and pasque flowers to flourish on the grassland.
Robert hosts hundreds of visitors and is in demand as a speaker.
Robert Kynaston - Shropshire
Robert passionately believes there is room for wildlife alongside profitable production on his mixed farm.
His milk is used to produce award-winning Welsh cheeses at Milk Link's Llandyrnog Creamery in North Wales.
Keen to minimise resource usage, he has installed a reedbed to clean water, and decreased fertiliser use by 80 per cent. Environment stewardship complements his approach and he has created many new habitats, such as flower mixtures and bird cover crops.
Rich and varied wildlife thrives, including curlew, grey partridge, lapwing, skylark, hare, 14 species of water boatmen and more than 20 mosses and lichens. Robert is keen to share, widely promoting his ethos, hosting events and running training courses for a very wide audience.
David White - Wiltshire
David and his son Edward farm with an inspiring ethos of working with nature.
The farm is predominantly arable, managed without insecticides, and corn bunting, lapwing, turtle dove and yellow wagtail all flourish.
Areas of chalk downland are managed by native cattle, and the farm supports dotted bee-fly, brown hare and a range of butterflies and rare arable plants such as Venus’s-looking-glass. Narrow-fruited cornsalad has also recently been discovered on the farm.
David and Edward also look after an additional 10 square kilometres of arable for other local farmers, all of whom have also joined agri-environment schemes.
In his spare time, David is a keen wildlife photographer and you can see some of his spectacular images on his website.
Andrew Hughes - Hampshire
This successful arable farm has conservation at its core.
Using the latest technology to ensure maximum productivity, Andrew also implements a wide variety of management practices, supported by agri-environment schemes. For example, fallow plots, ponds, a network of insect-rich habitats and woodland management benefit a diverse range of species including dormice, grey partridge, white admiral, and rare arable plants such as common fumitory.
Andrew is committed to connecting people to the natural environment, spanning audiences from school children to farmers.
Andrew Jackson - North Lincolnshire
Andrew is an ambassador for practical conservation, going beyond agri-environment schemes.
A farm shop, trail and restaurant on his urban fringe arable/pig/poultry farm showcase to all that producing food to a high commercial standard as required by supermarkets is not at the expense of the wildlife and the environment.
More than 100 bird species have been recorded and grey partridge, lapwing, skylark and tree sparrow all breed on the farm. Brown hare are abundant and diverse grass margins support more than 15 butterfly species.
Somerset and Carolyne Charrington - Argyll and Bute
Isle of Mull livestock farmers Somerset and Carolyne Charrington were crowned UK Nature of Farming Award winners 2011 after a close-run public vote.
This seven-square kilometre upland livestock farm on the Isle of Mull is managed with sustainability and profitability at its heart. Alongside careful grazing and through agri-environment schemes, Somerset and Carolyne have created and restored key habitats including native woodland, wetland, peat bog and moorland.
The wildlife on the farm includes field gentians, corncrakes, otters, more than 300 species of moth and butterfly and 10 species of dragonfly.
Somerset and Carolyne promote their ethos through events and their Trenish and Haunn website. Here you can read about the awards they have won.
The Charringtons said: "It is a privilege for us to live here and to be custodians of this farm. Our cattle and sheep are the key to maintaining the rich mosaic of habitats on the farm, and underlines, to us, the importance of keeping sheep and cattle on the hills of Scotland. We have a popular coastal path that brings locals and visitors onto the farm daily, and it's great to share their enjoyment of the wildlife they encounter.
"We are extremely proud to have been chosen as the winners of the Nature of Farming Award. It's a huge boost to our confidence and proves that what we are doing in terms of farming, conservation and sustainability is working."
Martin Hamilton and Gary Adams - County Down
This quite intensive vegetable growing operation is refreshingly forward-thinking.
Production led practices are mitigated by significant investment in the latest methods (eg a robotic hoe to reduce pesticide use), and wildlife friendly measures (eg a reed bed filtration system), supported by agri-environment schemes. Threatened seed-eating birds such as linnet, tree sparrow and yellowhammer thrive.
Through their successful brand Mash Direct, Martin and Gary passionately promote conservation to a wide audience.
Richard and Gethin Owen - Conwy
This mixed lowland farm is an oasis for wildlife in an area of low botanical diversity, with field woundwort, sun spurge, henbit dead-nettle and cut-leaved dead-nettle present.
All the habitats are managed to maximise native plant species diversity, viewed as the bedrock to encourage other wildlife. The farm makes full use of agri-environment funding and converted to organic for commercial and wildlife benefits. While finches and buntings proliferate, there is also an abundance of insects, reptiles and amphibians.
Gethin is keen to promote these successes to a wider audience.