RSPB advice and support for farmers across the UK (funded by EU LIFE+)

The RSPB are providing farmers across the UK with free farmland bird surveys and advice, and celebrating those who do the best for wildlife through the annual Nature of Farming Award. Wildlife-friendly, profitable farms will be showcased through a network of demonstration farms.

Adult male Cirl bunting, Emberiza cirlus. RSPB Cirl Bunting Project. Devon


The RSPB is able to offer a range of advisory services for farmers, thanks to funding from the EU LIFE+.

It is hoped that through delivering this advice and working with farmers, we will see a reverse in the fortunes of farmland birds in the UK.


  • To provide farmers with free bird surveys anywhere in the UK (The Volunteer & Farmer Alliance).
  • To develop a network of demonstration farms which show how to combine profitable, productive farming with wildlife.
  • To deliver The Nature of Farming Award (NoFA).
  • To engage directly with members of the public, through volunteering to carry out bird surveys and voting for the NoFA winner.

Key Dates

  • Voting for the Nature of Farming Award 2010 closed on 27 August 2010. Applications for the 2011 Award are now open.
  • Farmers wishing to register for Volunteer & Farmer Alliance surveys in 2011 should contact the Project Manager.

Planned Work

V&FA survey results are analysed after the breeding season when surveys are complete. Maps will then be distributed to the farmers and volunteers involved.
We will be presenting the 2010 Nature of Farming Award winners with their prize at Oxford Farming Conference in January 2011.
We will be establishing and adding to our network of demonstration farms during the course of the project.


680 Volunteer & Farmer Alliance surveys were conducted across the UK in 2010, providing farmers with a record of the birds on their land and how to help them.
There were 6,342 votes cast in the Nature of Farming Award, leading to John and James Davison from Northern Ireland won the 2010 Nature of Farming Award.


  • The EU Life+ programme supports the delivery of this project


Coast on a stormy day

Jenny Atkins

Agricultural projects manager, Technical Advise Unit
Tagged with: Country: UK Habitat: Farmland Project status: Ongoing Project types: Advocacy