What's in my patch? Red Campion #2

Red Campion Silene dioica. Photo credit: S Abbott/CG

Red Campion (Silene dioica) is also known as Red Catchfly in the USA. It is a member of the Pink family (Caryophyllaceae). This pretty perennial plant has deep pink flowers with notched petals on a hairy stem up to 1m tall. In the wild it favours lowland soils and shady areas and is a common sight along roadside verges. The best time to see the plant in flower is late spring, when the bluebells begin to fade, and into the summer months.

What's in my patch? Red Campion #1The 20mm wide flowers open during the day and are very attractive to pollinating invertebrates with a long proboscis (or tongue)!

When sowing Red Campion in a wildflower seed mix, farmers need to keep the seed rate low as in favourable conditions it can take over a wildflower area as happened spectacularly at the former Fair to Nature office! It looked great though, and it was buzzing with insect life, as well as being a talking point for visitors!

Did you know that Silene, in Red Campion’s scientific name, comes from the Greek God Silenus? Silenus was often depicted as a drunkard and got his name from the Greek word for saliva – ‘sialon’ – as he was often covered in a sticky foam. Female Red Campion flowers produce a sticky foam to capture pollen from visiting insects.

What's in my patch? Red Campion

A riot of Red Campion at the former Fair to Nature HQ in 2016. Photo credit: S Abbott/CG

Tagged with: , , , , ,
CG Blog
37185438 - cowslips on a hill in the landscape cowslip

Cowslips. Photo credit: pixphoto/123rf.com

The egg yolk yellow flowers of the Cowslip (Primula veris) are a welcome sign of spring. A herbaceous perennial of the Primrose family Primulaceae, the Cowslip flowers throughout April and May, providing an early nectar source for long tongued bees, butterflies, moths and bee flies. The flowering stems arise out of a rosette of wrinkled leaves and the flowers are a deep yellow with an orange base. The flowers cluster together at the top of the stems, often drooping to one side. The plant prefers chalky soils that are moist and well draining but can also grow well in dry, non-calcareous soils. 

Common in traditional meadows, it is sometimes present in the wildflower areas managed by our Fair to Nature farmers. One of our members’ has a former arable field that has been reverted back to grassland and Cowslips are now abundant in this field. Another of our members’ has a long established wildflower area adjacent to an arable field and the Cowslips are the first to flower in this habitat each year. The name ‘Cowslip’ is derived from the Old English word for cow pat, cu-sloppe, reflecting the presence of the plant in traditional grazed meadows.

Cowslip

The nodding flowers of the Cowslip. Photo credit: S Abbott/CG

Although still a common flower in many parts of the UK, the Cowslip is declining and meadows full of Cowslips are a rarity. Much of the decline occurred between the 1940s and 1980s as agriculture intensified. Only 2% of the wildflower meadows that existed in the UK in the 1930s remain today!

You can help our farmers to create and manage more wildflower areas in our countryside by choosing Fair to Nature brands. The brands contribute towards the cost of managing the wildlife habitats.

Tagged with: , , , ,
CG Blog

Pollen and nectar habitat on a Fair to Nature farm What's in my patchIt’s the time of year when some of our Fair to Nature farmers are sowing their wildflower mixes. The best sowing time is mid August to mid September but this clashes with the busy harvest of cereal crops so there may not be enough hours in the day to fit it all in! The wildflower mixes contain plants that provide a much needed nectar source for pollinating insects such as bumblebees, honeybees and hoverflies. The Fair to Nature protocol, that all our farmers follow, requires two types of pollen and nectar habitats – wildflower meadow species, such as oxeye daisy, and legume species, such as clover. The wildflower meadow species are generally perennial and the flowers are long lasting. The flowers come into their own later in the year and, with careful management, the meadow can last a lifetime. The legume species are perfect for providing an early nectar source as they start flowering in early spring, but these mixes tend to run out of steam after 4 or 5 years and will need to be resown.

Fair to Nature farmers are also sowing their wild bird food crops. These special mixes of seed bearing species like fodder radish and white millet will provide food for wild birds over the winter months and into the early spring when food can be scarce.

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the different plant species that our farmers grow in these special wildlife areas in our series ‘What’s in my patch?’ over the coming weeks.

Tagged with: , , ,
CG Blog

We think all our Fair to Nature farmers are winners for the amazing work they do for wildlife on their farms so it’s great when they are recognised for their achievements. Robert Law FWAGThe latest winner is one of our pilot farmers. Robert Law farms on the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex borders and has been a Fair to Nature member since the scheme began in 1985, growing oats for Jordans Cereals and then supplying other Fair to Nature accredited brands as the scheme grew. Robert has recently won the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) East Farm Conservation Award 2016.

Robert is a first generation farmer and since taking over the Hertfordshire farm he has planted over 30km of hedgerows on the land and created areas of new woodland. The farm has flourishing wildflower and wild bird food habitats.

Katie Hilton, Robert’s FWAG East adviser, said, “Robert is a true advocate of wildlife farming and this is evident in the wide range of Stewardship options to be found across his farm, from sensitively grazed chalk grassland slopes to large swathes of pollinator and farmland bird crops”.

Robert, along with two other regional finalists, now goes on the shortlist for FWAGs Silver Lapwing Award, which recognises farmers who go the extra mile to protect and enhance the countryside in which they farm. Good luck Robert!

Click here to read about Robert and some of our other Fair to Nature farmers.

 

 

 

Tagged with: , , ,
CG Blog

We’ve just rediscovered some great pictures from a motion camera that we were loaned in 2013! We were loaned the camera by Perdix Wildlife Supplies, to monitor a supplementary feeding trial that we were carrying out as part of Operation Turtle Dove. We had devised a feeding cage that would allow turtle doves in but exclude any predators. We decided to practice positioning the camera by strapping it to a tree outside our office window. The camera was set up to capture footage from around our bird feeders. We found that the feeders attracted more than birds…

Badger captured by motion camera at Gransden 12.06.12 2359

A badger rushes by

rabbit - camera

A rabbit in the evening sunset

Greylag goslings and their parents - camera

A greylag gosling tries out it’s wings

Fox at Gransden 2 camera

A fox checks out the bird feeder

pheasant 4

A pheasant

Brown hare and crow - camera

Brown hare, pheasant and crow

We have seen evidence of muntjac deer around the feeders but didn’t capture any footage of them unfortunately. But it was exciting to view the overnight activity each day! As for the turtle dove feeding trial, 2013 was a bad year to do the trial. The Fair to Nature farm that were we were trialing the feeder had nesting turtle doves most years but there was no sign of them in 2013! 

Thanks again to Perdix Wildlife Supplies for the loan of the cameras. Perdix Wildlife Supplies logo - camera

Tagged with: ,
CG Blog
Lapwing in flight - Big Farmland Bird Count

A Lapwing in flight. Photo credit: S Tonkin

Hot on the heels of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Big Farmland Bird Count takes place between the 3rd and 12th February. The Trust started the Big Farmland Bird Count in 2014 to highlight the good work done by farmers and gamekeepers in helping to reverse the decline in farmland bird numbers. Back then just 50 farmers took part, but now over 1000 farmers submit records and it is hoped that this will increase to 5000 in the future.

It is an easy way for farmers to find out about the birds they have on their farm. It enables them to assess the effect that their environmental stewardship options and areas of land under schemes such as Fair to Nature are having on the numbers of wild birds visiting their land. Fair to Nature farmers are required to grow areas of seed bearing crops that will feed birds over the winter and into the spring. They are also encouraged to provide supplementary food for birds in feeders or by spreading along farm tracks.

This year the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is launching a new online tool to make it quicker and easier for farmers to record their counts and will enable them to plot trends and compare their farm with others in the region. The Trust has also hosted a number of farmland bird identification days in conjunction with the RSPB so participants can hone their ID skills before the event.

For full details about the Big Farmland Bird Count see: http://www.gwct.org.uk/farming/big-farmland-bird-count/.

Tagged with: ,
CG Blog
Birds at fat balls feeder S Tonkin

Blue tits at a fat ball feeder. Image credit: S Tonkin/CG

Supplementary feeding of the birds in your garden helps them to survive periods of natural food shortage and severe winter weather, and gives them a better chance of being in peak condition for breeding. It is also a very pleasurable pastime to watch a variety of species at close quarters.

It may take a while for the number of birds visiting your feeders to build up because when the weather is mild they can take advantage of the naturally occurring seeds, berries and insects. But when these start running out and when the weather turns colder your feeders will become an important source of food.

When should I feed the birds?

Once you start feeding the birds in your garden it’s a good idea to continue to do so all year round. Just adjust the amounts and type of feed according to the time of year and the weather. Fat balls can go off in warm weather and should be discarded if they look past their best.

It’s important to keep those garden bird feeders stocked up over the winter months and into the spring but over the summer, autumn and early winter when there is usually an abundance of food in the garden, parks and countryside you may not need to put out as much food.

How should I feed the birds?

Moorhen on Feeder - S Abbott - garden birds

An unusual site on a bird feeder – a moorhen! Image credit: S Abbott

Different bird species feed in different ways. Blackbirds and robins prefer to feed off the ground but will also feed from bird tables. Finches, sparrows and tits will happily feed from hanging feeders and mesh feeders. Having said that, birds will adapt if they really need the food. We have seen a moorhen balancing on our hanging feeder at our office!

You will attract a greater number of species if you have a mixture of feeders. A good all round feeding station would be a bird table with feeder seed feeders and fat balls hanging off it. Ground feeding tables are available but you need to beware of predators such as cats. Some ground feeding tables come with a cage that allows small birds through but deter predators and larger birds like pigeons. Pigeons will clear the food in no time!

Hygiene is important. Clean your bird feeders regularly with a mild disinfectant, then rinse well and allow to dry before refilling with seeds. This will reduce disease transmission between your feathered visitors.

What should I feed the birds?

As with feeder types, a variety of different foods will attract a greater number of species.

  • Seed mixes feed a variety of species. According to experts at the RSPB, the best seed mixes contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds and peanut granules. The flaked maize is popular with blackbirds, while smaller birds enjoy small seeds such as millet and pin head oatmeal. Tits and greenfinches like sunflower seeds and peanuts.
  • Nyjer seeds are high in oil and loved by gold finches and siskins. They are very small seeds and require a special type of feeder with small holes.
  • Peanuts are rich in fat and are popular with house sparrows, great spotted woodpeckers, greenfinches, siskins and nuthatches. Don’t use slated or dry roasted peanuts and buy from a reputable source to ensure that they are low in aflatoxin, a natural toxin that can kill birds.
  • Black sunflower seeds are higher in oil content than the striped sunflower seeds are an be more popular with the birds than peanuts.
  • Fat balls and suet cakes make good winter food and are popular with a wide range of species, particularly starlings and house sparrows. If you buy them in a plastic mesh, remove the mesh and place in a special fat ball feeder or on your bird table. Small birds can get their feet trapped in the plastic mesh. You can make your own fat balls and cakes. At the bottom of this page is a recipe from the RSPB.

Why choose Fair to Nature bird food?

Fair to Nature tractor logo

Look for the logo on pack and in catalogues.

Fair to Nature accredited bird food benefits not only the birds in your garden but also birds in the countryside and farmland because Fair to Nature farmers grow special seed bearing crops to feed the farmland birds. The habitats on these farms provide food not only during the lean late winter and early spring period, but all year round. The wildflower habitats that they also grow provides birds with seeds and insects during the spring and summer months. This means that even migrant birds like the increasingly rare turtle dove benefit. You can read more about how our Fair to Nature farmers help wildlife by reading this article from the RSPB’s magazine Nature’s Home.

Wild bird food crop on a Fair to Nature Farm

Wild bird food habitat on a Fair to Nature Farm.

Fair to Nature bird food allows you to care about far more birds (and other wildlife) than just those that visit your garden, so it’s a great choice for all nature lovers. The majority of seeds and grains in the RSPB’s bird food range are sourced from Fair to Nature farms, as are the Ultiva range from GardenBird and the Honeyfield’s range from Marriage’s. You can find out more about these brands and where you can purchase them from the Conservation Grade website: 

www.conservationgrade.org/brands/

Fair to Nature farmers also provide supplementary food wild birds by spreading seed mixes along farm tracks.

Making your own bird food cake

You will need:

  • Suet or lard – melted (take care with hot fat!)
  • Mixture of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake
  • Container, e.g. plastic cup or empty half of a coconut shell, or fir cones

Place the seed/nuts/fruit/oatmeal/cheese/cake mixture in a bowl and pour over the melted fat. Stir well and allow it to set in the container of your choice. If using fir cones, either dip the cones into the mixture when it has cooled down (so that you don’t burn yourself!) or smear the mixture onto the cones using your fingers – a nice messy job for children to get stuck into. You can then tie some string around the cone, and the other containers and hang them in the trees or off your bird table. Alternatively you can just turn it out on your bird table when solid.

Once you’ve encouraged the birds to visit your garden, don’t forget to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place at the end of January each year. You can register for a Big Garden Birdwatch pack – https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/packrequest/.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
CG Blog

Fair to Nature farmers don’t just do great things for biodiversity on their land. They aim for sustainability in all aspects of their businesses. This has been highlighted in the Fresh Produce Journal’s UK Fruit & Vegetable Awards 2016, where G’s Fresh Mushrooms won the Barfoot’s Sustainability Award for their green energy generation. The Barfoot’s Sustainability Award recognises businesses that have gone above and beyond to operate sustainably.

The G’s mushroom farm in Cambridgeshire has developed a system that uses green energy generated from an onsite anaerobic digester instead of energy from non-renewable sources. Heat which is generated during the digestion process is transferred to the mushroom farm and is used in both the growing and hygiene operations, removing the energy-intensive traditional method of steam sterilisation of the tunnels.

The net effect of these actions is a reduction of circa four million kgs of CO2e vs a traditional mushroom farm over the space of a year.

A completely sustainable cycle, every year 25,000 tonnes of spent compost from G’s Fresh Mushrooms is applied on to the wider G’s Farms in the Fens as a soil conditioner. The Fens see on average up to 3cm of soil erosion per year and the addition of spent compost helps to reduce this significantly. Crops from these fields produce the waste material that goes into the anaerobic digester. The cycle continues.

Finally as mushroom farming is traditionally in small farms with enclosed structures, biodiversity and conservation are low priorities. However at G’s Fresh Mushrooms, they are actively developing new and existing wildlife habitats to encompass birds, insects and mammals. This biodiversity incorporates over 150 plant varieties, 20 species of mammals, 110 species of birds, 17 butterfly species and over five different types of specialist habitats, recognised by leading conservation and wildlife trusts as pioneering work.

Oystercatcher at Littleport Mushrooms - Sept 2016 - web - winners

Oystercatcher on wetland habitat at G’s Fresh Mushrooms. Image credit: S Abbott

Tagged with:
CG Blog

It’s the time of year when farmers’ thoughts turn to the management of their hedgerows. The winter crops have been drilled and there’s a bit of a lull in the arable farmer’s schedule before the spring field work begins.

road hedge cutting vehicle in rural countryside - hedgerows

Hedge cutting with a flail. Image credit: Bluestock/123.rf

What is a hedgerow?

The UK countryside is criss-crossed by hedgerows – long rows of bushes, sometimes containing trees, which have mainly been planted to keep livestock from straying or to mark parish boundaries. Not all have been planted though. Some are the edges of old woodland that has long-since been felled, while others may be the result of tree and shrub seedlings establishing themselves alongside a linear feature where they have been protected from grazing livestock.

For the purposes of hedgerow protection regulations, a hedgerow is defined as any boundary line of trees or shrubs over 20m long and less than 5m wide. Any bank, ditch, wall or tree within 2m of the centre of the hedge is considered to be part of the hedgerow habitat, as is the herbaceous vegetation within 2m of the centre of the hedgerow1.

The last Countryside Survey of the UK2, an ‘audit’ of the UK countryside’s natural resources, took place in 2007 and then it was estimated that there were 402,000km of managed hedgerows in the UK. This was a 6% decrease in length since the previous 1998 survey. Much of this loss was believed to be down to neglect and mismanagement leading to hedgerows becoming lines of gappy shrubs or trees, rather than the removal of hedgerows. Recent reports into our hedgerows suggest that the total length of the UK’s hedges may be increasing, with a lot of effort being put into new planting and better management, particularly under environmental stewardship schemes.

Working out the approximate age of a hedge

You can roughly work out the date of any hedge that hasn’t recently been planted by using the following formula:

  1. Choose a 30 metre length of hedge
  2. Count the number of species of trees and shrubs you find in it
  3. Multiply the number of species by 100

The answer is the approximate age of the hedge. One new species establishes itself about every 100 years, so a hedge with 3 species is about 300 years old. Bear in mind that a recent hedge may have been planted with several species but the look of the hedge should give you an idea as to whether you have an old, established hedge or a more recent one.

Why are hedgerows useful to wildlife?

Newly planted hedge on a Fair to Nature farm - hedgerows

Newly planted hedge on a Fair to Nature Farm. Image credit: B Hughes/CG

Hedgerows provide a home and a larder for many wildlife species, from butterflies such as the Brown Hairstreak and the Gatekeeper, to birds like the Cirl Bunting and the Turtle Dove, and mammals such as the Dormouse. They also provide safe corridors for wildlife to travel between other areas of habitat such as woodland. Bats are known to use hedge and tree lines as a navigation aid. A research project3 by Michael Pantling from Southampton University, which looked at bat activity and foraging along field boundaries, compared the management of boundaries and habitats on farms implementing government funded environmental stewardship schemes, Conservation Grade principles and organic principles. The common theme to come out of this research was the importance of hedgerow trees and hedgerow maintenance to avoid large gaps in the hedge line. Some bat species can be deterred by gaps of over 30m.

Different wildlife species prefer different types of hedgerow. Generally, the bigger the hedge the more wildlife it will support, but some species prefer shorter hedges and where these species are present hedge size should be taken into account. Lapwings, for example, favour open countryside so hedges should be kept shorter with less hedgerow trees for predators to hide in. Some smaller birds, such as Yellowhammer, like to nest in tighter, shorter hedges that offer protection from predator. Turtle Doves favour tall, straggly hedges to nest and shelter in.

Are there any restrictions governing hedgerow management?

Two pieces of legislation relevant to the management of the UK’s hedgerows are the Hedgerow Regulations 19974 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 19815. Farmers and landowners also have to be aware of the cross compliance rules6 governing boundary features (called GAEC 7a)

It is important not to disturb nesting birds. The main nesting period is between 1st March and 31st August so in most circumstances farmers and landowners are not allowed to cut or trim their hedges during this period.

How do Fair to Nature farmers manage their hedgerows?

A good habitat for turtle doves - hedgerows

A nice tall hedge – good habitat for turtle doves. Image credit: S Abbott/CG

Hedgerows can only survive in the long term if they are correctly managed. Otherwise they become a line of trees. Today incorrect management and neglect is leading to more hedgerow loss than outright removal.

Fair to Nature farmers really value their hedges. Many of our Fair to Nature farmers have increased the amount of hedgerows on their farms by planting new ones and rejuvenating existing hedges.

As long as the hedge isn’t overhanging a highway or obstructing a right of way, they plan their hedge cutting regime so that the farm contains hedges at different stages of growth, maximising their benefit to wildlife. Many tree and shrub species produce flowers on one year old twigs so by cutting the hedge annually this year-old growth is removed meaning no flowers for pollinators, and no fruit or nuts for birds and mammals. Only climbing plants such as roses, clematis and brambles produce good flower and fruit crops in hedgerows that are cut every year. Another good reason for not removing the new growth every autumn or winter is that the some invertebrate species, such as the Brown Hairstreak butterfly, only lay eggs on this new growth and annual cutting will destroy those eggs. So, where possible, Fair to Nature farmers cut one side of the hedge at a time, leaving the other side to grow for another year or so, meaning that there will always be flowers and fruit and nuts available. They also leave hedges to grow for 2 to 3 years between cuts. It has been estimated that for every year a hedge is left uncut it will gain two species of breeding bird!

On some Fair to Nature farms, the farmers are trying to encourage certain bird species such as Turtle Doves. Turtle Doves are quite specific in their choice of nesting and feeding habitat. They favour tall straggly hedges, like the one pictured left, to nest in leading into scrub adjacent to arable land for feeding. Plus they need a nearby water source to enable them to produce the crop milk that they feed their chicks on.

A managed hedge on a Fair to Nature farm - hedgerows

A managed hedge on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Leicestershire farm. Image credit: S Abbott/CG

Some hedge management can look drastic to the untrained eye, such as coppicing where the hedge is cut right back, and laying, where the hedge is thinned out and the strong stems are chopped close to the ground so that just a section of bark and sap wood connects the stem to the stump. These are called ‘pleachers’. The stems are then laid along the hedge line, with smaller stems twined in between. Strength and stability is provided by upright stakes placed at intervals along the laid hedge. Often the laid hedge is finished using hazel whips woven through the tops of the stakes. Different parts of the UK have developed their own hedge laying methods over the years, often according to the type of livestock that the hedge is required to contain.

New hedge rejuvenation methods

Traditional hedge laying is a time consuming task, so new quicker methods have been developed, using chainsaws and farm machinery. Researchers at the Oxfordshire based Centre of Ecology and Hydrology7 have compared traditional hedge laying, conservation hedging (where the base of the hedge is cut as with traditional hedge laying and the stems are laid over but the remaining stems and branches are laid along the hedge line rather than to one side and fewer branches are removed), and wildlife hedging (where the base of the hedge is cut with a chainsaw, the vegetation is pushed over with a digger bucket, and no branches are removed) with reshaping of the hedge with a circular saw, and coppicing. They looked at regrowth from the base of the hedge and the canopy, hedgerow structure, berry provision for overwintering wildlife, and cost. The research showed that conservation hedging and wildlife hedging cost much less than traditional hedge laying and any differences in regrowth and berry provision had disappeared by year 3.   

These more drastic management methods are only undertaken where a hedge needs rejuvenating and/or brought back into use as a barrier. A coppiced or laid hedge will regrow and can then be managed as any other hedge.

Some good websites for more information about hedges and hedge management are:

Hedgelink

The Wildlife Trusts

Natural England

References:

1UK Biodiversity Action Plan; Priority Habitat Descriptions. BRIG (ed. Ant Maddock) 2008

2Countryside Survey 2007 –

http://www.countrysidesurvey.org.uk/sites/www.countrysidesurvey.org.uk/files/CS-UK-Results2007-Chapter05.pdf

3Pantling, M. 2014. Bat activity and foraging along agricultural field boundaries: The impact of agri-environment schemes. University of Southampton

4The Hedgerows Regulations – your questions answered, Defra, 1997 –

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/438650/hedgerow_your_questions_answered.pdf

5Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1377

6Guide to Cross Compliance in England: 2016 – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guide-to-cross-compliance-in-england-2016/gaec-7a-boundaries

7Staley, J., Amy, S., Adams, N., Chapman, R., Peyton, J., Pywell, R. 2015. Re-structuring hedges: Rejuvenation management can improve the long term quality of hedgerow habitats for wildlife in the UK. Biological Conservation, 186, pp. 187-196. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715001068

Tagged with: , , ,
CG Blog

The RSPB has announced the beginning of a new three year partnership with Conservation Grade, which will allow the two organisations to work together on behalf of wildlife.

Wild bird food growing adjacent to a crop of barley on a Fair to Nature farm. Photo credit: Peter Dean/Agripicture Images RSPB Partnership

Wild bird food growing adjacent to a crop of barley on a Fair to Nature farm. Photo credit: Peter Dean/Agripicture Images

Conservation Grade is the accreditation body behind the Fair to Nature scheme. The partnership between the two is helping to provide advice to farmers and promoting the benefits of the scheme to farm businesses.

For over 25 years Fair to Nature farmers have been setting high standards for nature-friendly farming, diligently creating homes and space for nature on at least 10% of their land, protecting hedges, soil and water, whilst producing the quality ingredients for Fair to Nature food brands.

Darren Moorcroft, Head of species and habitat conservation for the RSPB, said, “The recent State of Nature report, highlights the ongoing need for more wildlife-friendly farming if we are not to lose some of our countryside’s iconic species. Fair to Nature includes a package of measures which have been shown to really deliver for nature.  That’s why, as one the biggest providers of on-farm conservation advice in the UK, the RSPB is happy to be in this partnership.”

Conservation Grade’s Technical Manager, Brin Hughes said, “We are delighted that the RSPB will be working with us to help our countryside’s wildlife.

This new collaboration with the RSPB will help us extend the great work that our members and so many of the UK’s farmers are already doing for the environment. In this way we can reverse the declines our wildlife has experienced and continue to lead the way on UK farm sustainability.”

Andrew Elms - Fair to Nature Farmer - RSPB Partnership

Fair to Nature farmer Andrew Elms. Photo credit: William Shaw

The RSPB’s own arable farm in Cambridgeshire is also producing Fair to Nature rapeseed oil which is on sale at RSPB reserves and shops. Fair to Nature farmer Andrew Elms said, “Fair to Nature Farming has been hugely beneficial to farmland biodiversity. The introduction of pollen and nectar mixes, wild bird seed plots and overwintered stubble has given a huge helping hand to nature rather than leaving nature to fend for itself!”

Tagged with: , , ,
CG Blog

Photo Gallery

Latest Tweets