Know How / Wildlife

News for farmers on how wildlife can have an impact on farms, both positively and negatively. See how to improve biodiversity on your farm to encourage pollinators and farmland birds. Find out about the developments in the rewilding debate and on releasing animals, such as lynx into the countryside.

Advice and tips


How Britain's bee farmers can help raise crop yields

Britain’s bee farmers could have a key role in helping growers increase arable and fruit crop yields, by providing a targeted pollination service. There are about 400 professional bee farmers in…


How encouraging bees can lift arable crop yields by a third

Planting and managing flower-rich mixes to support wild pollinators can bring an economic benefit to arable businesses by raising crop performance. Research conducted over six years by the Centre for…


How arable incomes could benefit from mid-tier scheme

Farmers who were put off from applying for mid-tier last year should reconsider now that the application process has been simplified, but they should only choose options that fit the…

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Case studies


How mixed low-input farming can help grassland biodiversity

Gloucestershire farmer Ian Boyd has turned his intensively farmed arable land into wildflower meadows and introduced herbal leys into the cropping rotation. This has enabled him to tap into environmental…


Suffolk pig producers see multiple benefits from pollinators

Combining outdoor pig rearing with planting pollinator strips has helped Suffolk-based Dingley Dell Pork raise sow performance, help the environment and provide a marketing boost for their direct sales business.…


Asda helps spud growers to go green

The headlands of potato fields can have a valuable role in promoting wildlife, and one major supermarket group is helping its spud growers to establish green covers on these areas.…


Wild bird project – a blueprint for future farm support?

Farmers in the South West have helped to save a rare farmland bird in a 25-year collaboration with the RSPB.  Farmers and the RSPB don’t always see eye to eye,…

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Quiz: Can you spot 6 common farmland birds?

This Saturday sees the start of the Big Farmland Bird Count (6-14 February) and farmers are being encouraged to go out and tally up the species on their farms. The…

Big farmland bird count: how you can make a difference

Farming has changed the landscape of the UK and the way wildlife interacts with it massively since the Second World War. Before the 1940s weeds largely grew uninhibited from hedgerows…

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Why Scots farmers need solution to lambs lost to sea eagles

Every spring farmers and crofters in parts of Scotland face the unsustainable situation of white-tailed eagles preying on healthy newborn lambs to feed their young. NFU Scotland (NFUS) has demanded…


Can beavers and farms work together on flood control?

Hunted almost to extinction more than 400 years ago, beavers have gradually made their return to the UK. They hold protected status in Scotland and roam free in parts of…


Big Farmland Bird Count 2020: How farmers can get involved

The Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) is a fantastic opportunity for farmers to unite and demonstrate the great conservation work they have been doing to encourage wildlife on their farms.…


Results-based pilot scheme helps farmers deliver green goals

A pioneering scheme that gives farmers flexibility to create their own environmental plan tailored for their land is achieving fantastic results for local wildlife, say industry leaders. Natural England in…

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Mixed reaction after Norfolk sea eagles project approved

Plans to reintroduce white-tailed eagles to Norfolk have been approved amid industry concerns that the apex predators could prey on vulnerable livestock. Following a public consultation, Natural England has granted…


Bayer disappointed after neonics legal challenge rejected

Bayer CropScience has expressed its disappointment after its legal challenge to overturn an EU ban on neonicotinoid pesticides was rejected. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) dismissed an appeal by…


Farmland bird count shows farmers committed to conservation

A major count of farmland birds has revealed sightings of several rare species, highlighting the positive work being done by land managers to reverse the long-term decline in bird numbers.…


Defra to phase out lead shot to protect wildlife

Defra will hold a consultation on its plans to phase out lead ammunition to help protect wildlife. The government is considering a ban under the UK’s post-Brexit chemical regulations and…

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Video: Grower reacts to planned ban for chlorothalonil

As a conventional farmer, David Butler is trying to find the right balance between productive agriculture and looking after wildlife on his farm. A fourth-generation farmer, Mr Butler farms East…


Row erupts over calls for raven cull to protect sheep

An online petition launched by farmers calling for greater control of ravens on farmland to protect newborn lambs and calves is gaining momentum. Britain’s largest species of crow has been…

Video: Birds found nesting in tractor engine

Grass-cutting at a nature reserve has been put on hold after birds were found nesting in the engine of a tractor. A pair of pied wagtails and their four chicks…


VIDEO: Modulate to the max, says RSPB

The RSPB has called on the government to transfer the maximum amount of money from direct farm support into agri-environment schemes. RSPB conservation director Martin Harper made the call after…

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