Blog Archives

Is there colour in your grass margins?

Field margins are often the lowest yielding areas of a field so inputs here may not be delivering positive results. But what about your financial margins? Are you chasing yields in these poorer areas? If so, your margins may well

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Flower Power!

Farm Manager of the RSPB’s Hope Farm, Georgie Bray sees great benefits in encouraging a range of flower-rich habitats on farmland, particularly as they can help with natural pest control… Flowers are a fundamental part of a sustainable farming system.

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No Mow May

Shelley Abbott, Fair to Nature Facilitator, is taking part in No Mow May…. It’s May! While many of us have had to put our normal lives on pause, the natural world is continuing to spring into life. Birds are nesting

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What do bees need?

It’s Bees Needs Week! This annual event is organised by the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as part of England’s National Pollinator Strategy. Various events are going on around the country to celebrate and promote what

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What’s in my patch? – Red Campion

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

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What’s in my patch? – Cowslip

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,

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What’s in my patch?

It’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

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Save 20 percent …of Nature!

Research conducted by the University of Reading (and partly funded by Conservation Grade) published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology found that Fair to Nature farms support 20 percent more plant and butterfly species than conventionally managed farms. However organic farms

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Bringing the buzz back to the British countryside

A guest blog by Chloe Hardman, Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research (CAER), University of Reading. I find it fascinating to watch bumblebees at work; flitting from flower to flower with bundles of pollen on their legs.  Sometimes

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Which flowers are the best source of nectar?

There is growing evidence that both domestic honeybees and wild pollinators are in trouble, and the many wildflowers that depend on them for pollination are also declining. But are pollinator declines driving flower losses or vice versa? Or are other

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