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: 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-Lettley Farm: 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 […]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
Author: Dan Brown, Dr Duncan Allison & Sarah Bird Farm: Anston Farm, Dunsyre, South Lanarkshire Aims: Anston is a 651 ha mixed upland livestock farm in South Lanarkshire. A variety of habitats can be found across the farm. The hill ground includes dry heath and acid grassland, whilst the upper in-bye fields contain a mixture […]Read More
Author: Jo Terry Farm: Upper Hollowfields Farm, Worcestershire Aims: Upper Hollowfields is a mixed farm with arable crops and cattle/sheep grazing the grassland areas. The hedgerow pattern contributes to the historic character of the site. Hedge management is considered carefully in each field, where possible complimenting other environmental work on the farm, for example higher, thicker […]Read More
Case Study: A technique for rush control creates habitats for wading birds and black grouse in the North Pennines
Author: Janet Fairclough Farm: Farms in Baldersdale and Lunedale, North Pennines, Durham The North Pennines is a special place, providing excellent habitats for a wide range of important wildlife. The landscape has the highest density of breeding waders in mainland UK and more than 80% of England’s black grouse. As a result, the area has […]Read More
Author: James Taylor Farm: North Aston Farms, Oxfordshire The family has owned the farm since 1907, and we brought management back ‘in-house’ in the 1960s. We converted to organic status over a ten year period from about 1982 and continued as a mixed farm until 2006, when we decided to become purely a livestock enterprise. […]Read More
Wild bird cover and the retention of winter stubbles were chosen to help provide adequate feeding opportunities for priority seed-eating bird species such as the yellowhammer, tree sparrow, skylark and linnet. These features are important during the harsh winter months, when food sources are often scarceRead More