Helping you to help wildlife on your farm
Good conservation management is about understanding the locally important wildlife, choosing the right measures and managing them in the right way. Farm Wildlife has been developed with farmers for farmers.
Our management approach brings together best practice advice from a broad range of wildlife organisations to identify the 6 most important steps for restoring wildlife on your farm.
Why Take Part?
Taking the Farm Wildlife approach won't just help wildlife. Depending on how you choose to implement the advice, you could see much wider benefits across the farm.
Pollinating insects, such as bumblebees, solitary bees and hoverflies are vital for both the pollination of crops and wildflowers.
Healthy and productive soil is the most valuable asset on the farm. Soils are home to over a quarter of living species on earth
Supporting beneficial insects improves biodiversity on the farm and forms part of an integrated approach to pest management
Supporting biodiversity on the farm can also open up opportunities for your business, including diversified income streams and new market opportunities
6 Key Elements...
To help farmland wildlife the most, try to implement a range of advice from these key elements.
Habitats already established on the farm are often the most wildlife-rich. Looking after the existing features on the farm and managing them well should be the priority when providing space for wildlife.
Many native flowering plants depend on farming practices for survival, including rare arable specialists and the wildflower-rich grasslands which were once common-place across the landscape.
Field boundaries perform important functions for the farm, but also provide valuable habitat for wildlife. Well-managed boundary features can support a range of wildlife, as well as connecting habitats across the landscape.
Traditional agriculture provided seed-rich habitats throughout the year that wildlife evolved to exploit. Many birds became farmland specialists, relying on these habitats for food, especially through the winter.
Water is a crucial element for wildlife.
With the right management wet habitats can provide some of the most wildlife-rich areas on farmland.
Small tweaks in the management of the farmed area can deliver benefits to specific species or the overall farmed environment.
Put into practice, the Farm Wildlife approach can deliver real success.
Learn how other farmers have put Farm Wildlife principles into practice
Author: Martin Lines Farm: Papley Grove Farm, Cambridgeshire: 160 ha farmed in-house plus 360 ha contract farmed Aims: In 2013, my agronomist recommended that I spray for black bean aphid, but conditions were too wet and windy for a period of ten days, after which aphid numbers had dropped and ladybirds were eating them, so […]Read More
Authors: Owain Rowlands ( Menter a Busnes ) & Anna Hobbs ( Bumblebee Conservation Trust ) Welsh dairy farmers and bumblebees don’t normally crop up in the same context but a group of organic dairy farmers in Wales, who market their products under the Calon Wen brand, are hoping to change things. Six of […]Read More
Author: Catherine Jones, Buglife As the days continue to shorten, temperatures drop and the morning frosts start to appear, the value of autumnal vegetation for wildlife should not be underestimated. In addition to creating the striking frost-bitten scenery in autumn and winter, allowing tussocky grass and wildflower seed heads to remain uncut through winter, in […]Read More
Author: Craig Dunton, Grey long-eared bat Project Officer, Bat Conservation Trust Species: Grey Long-eared bat: © Craig Dunton/www.bats.org.uk Why is farmland important for this species? With as few as 1000 individuals In the UK, the grey long-eared bat is one of our rarest mammals. Their distribution is restricted to the southern coast (Devon, Dorset, […]Read More
Case Study: Adding Value to Chalk Grasslands: Creating Chalk Banks to benefit butterflies and other insects.
Author: Lynne Roberts . Farm: The RSPB’s Manor Farm, Newton Tony, Wiltshire Aims and setting: Manor Farm is a 296 ha working farm strategically placed between two of the largest tracts of semi-natural chalk grassland in the British Isles – Salisbury Plain and Porton Down. The RSPB purchased Manor farm in 2006 and have been […]Read More
Author: Ceri Watkins, Co-Founder of Dung beetle UK Mapping Project Species: Dung beetles Why is farmland important for these species? There are approximately 60 species of dung beetle in the UK. They are not the ‘ball rollers’ seen in warmer countries and on TV, instead they live inside the dung pile (dwellers) or in the […]Read More
Author: Jennifer Palmer Farm: High Burnham Farm, Epworth Aims High Burnham is a large (+300ha) arable farm. As part of the RSPB’s Axholme and Idle Farmland Bird Initiative¹ (Lincolnshire), an opportunity was identified to revert an arable field corner to a species-rich meadow. The 1.7ha field corner sits within the base of a large L-shaped arable […]Read More
Hedgehogs have been associated with farmland for centuries. Hedgehogs are insectivores, foraging in fields and on grassland for worms, and along field margins and at the base of hedgerows for beetles, snails and other invertebrates. They are considered a generalist species, but as the dominant habitat in the UK, farmland is particularly important for hedgehogs.Read More
Author: Tim Pryor-LettleyFarm: Matterley Estate, Hampshire Matterley is a 2400 acre mixed farm with 200 dairy cattle and 1100 acres of arable including wheat, barley and oilseed rape. The estate ownership and farm management has been in the Bruce family for three generations. Peveril Bruce is a member of the Winchester Downs Farm Cluster group. […]Read More
Nicholas Watts from Vine House Farm shares his experience of providing additional seed food for birds on his farm, and the benefits this has had for tree sparrows in particular. I am often asked do we really need to feed the birds? As someone who sells bird food I am bound to say yes, but […]Read More