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.

Soil Health


Healthy and productive soil is the most valuable asset on the farm. Soils are home to over a quarter of living species on earth

Pest Control


Supporting beneficial insects improves biodiversity on the farm and forms part of an integrated approach to pest management

Farm Business


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.

Existing Habitats


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.

Flower-rich Habitats


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


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.

Seed-rich Habitats


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.

Wet Features


Water is a crucial element for wildlife.

With the right management wet habitats can provide some of the most wildlife-rich areas on farmland.

Farmed Area


Small tweaks in the management of the farmed area can deliver benefits to specific species or the overall farmed environment.

In practice

Put into practice, the Farm Wildlife approach can deliver real success.

Learn how other farmers have put Farm Wildlife principles into practice

Case study: Reversion of arable land to lowland chalk grassland

8th August 2020

Author: Lynne Roberts:  The RSPB’s Manor Farm, Newton Tony, Wiltshire Aims and setting Chalk grassland is one of the richest landscapes for wildlife in the UK and is a habitat which has suffered significant losses in past decades. This case study focuses on Manor Farm in Wiltshire, now the operational base of RSPB’s Winterbourne Downs […]

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Case Study: Managing hedges on an extended rotation – Using an excavator mounted finger bar and tree shear

28th July 2020

Author: Fraser Hugill: Throstle Nest Farm, Sproxton, North Yorkshire The Management Challenge In recent years I have taken over the management of the family farm. The farm business consists of 350 acres, split over two different holdings, both with fantastic hedgerow networks that support lots of wildlife but with very different management needs. I wanted […]

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Case Study: Carabid beetles for natural-enemy pest control

12th July 2020

Author: Kelly Jowett: If there was an agent acting within your crops that could reduce eggs and first instar larvae of the cabbage root fly by up to 90%; reduce emerging wheat blossom midge by 81%; and reduce seed stock of crop weeds in the range of 65-90%, then I’m sure you’d want to keep […]

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Case study: Insecticide-free arable farming

4th May 2020

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 […]

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Case Study: Pasture for Pollinators

6th March 2020

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 […]

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Case Study: Providing food and shelter for invertebrates in Autumn

29th November 2019

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 […]

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Case Study: Managing Farmland for Grey Long-eared Bats

9th November 2019

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, […]

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Case Study: Adding Value to Chalk Grasslands: Creating Chalk Banks to benefit butterflies and other insects.

29th September 2019

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 […]

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Case Study: British dung beetles – here to help

15th April 2019

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 […]

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Case Study: Using hay strewing as a technique to create species-rich grassland

10th October 2018

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 […]

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