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

ARABLE

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…

ARABLE

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…

PAYMENTS, SCHEMES AND GRANTS

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

ARABLE

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.…

ENVIRONMENT

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,…

ARABLE

Birds boosted by wildflowers in the crop margin

Andrew Pitts has seen a massive rise in bird numbers to levels not recorded since the 1970s after embracing a biodiversity approach on his Northamptonshire farm. Song bird numbers have…

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Community

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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Insights

ENVIRONMENT

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. Defra published the…

WILDLIFE

Licence for shooting pest birds - where do farmers stand?

Natural England’s recent decision to revoke the general licence for controlling certain pest bird species came as a surprise and has stirred up controversy between farmers and environmental groups. The…

ARABLE

Can arable farming and wildlife conservation work together?

Farming is coming under greater pressure to halt the decline in wildlife. A major government project hopes to provide some of the answers in coming years, by balancing greater diversity with…

ARABLE

How growers can help protect pollinators with web tool

A smartphone and computer tool that allows farmers to notify beekeepers without needing their contact details is offering a simple way so send out alerts ahead of insecticide applications. The…

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News

WILDLIFE

Shooting licences must stay accessible, say industry leaders

Industry leaders are calling for shooting licences to remain readily accessible for farmers, arguing that they are vital in the battle to prevent damage to crops and livestock. The NFU…

FARM POLICY

Lib Dem and Green manifestos focus on greener agriculture

The Liberal Democrats want to redirect farm support towards restoring nature, with legally binding targets for water, air, soil and biodiversity. The party set out its plans for agriculture in…

WILDLIFE

National Trust to reintroduce beavers despite farmer concerns

The National Trust has announced plans to release beavers at two sites in the south of England next spring to help combat flooding and improve biodiversity.  The plans, approved by…

WILDLIFE

Hackers use NFU Twitter account to condemn badger cull

NFU South East regional director William White has reiterated his and the NFU’s support for the badger cull – despite his Twitter account having been hacked by anti-cull activists and…

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Video

ARABLE

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…

SHEEP

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…

BUSINESS

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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