Nature-friendly cereal farmers boost recovery

Local farm wildlife plans are helping cereal growers devote 30% of land to nature. Nationally, a group of 42 cereal farmers are proving that it is possible to help nature recover and make a profit.

A new report from The Wildlife Trusts (TWT) shows how locally tailor-made farm wildlife plans devised by TWT advisors with each farmer, are helping wildlife recover. 

In 2018, oat growers in the Jordans Farm Partnership farmed over 15,500 hectares, providing almost 4,600 hectares for wildlife. Birds such as linnets, butterflies like the silver-washed fritillary, and brown hares are returning to the farms in the Partnership; nature is thriving in their hedgerows, field margins and ponds, creating vital corridors to enable wild animals to spread out and move through the landscape.  

Farm advisors, like Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT) Conservation Officers John Bristow and Uta Hamzaoui, support Jordans’ farmers and value their important contribution to conservation.

LRWT’s Wider Countryside Team is working with two farmers in the south and east of Leicestershire to help look after the wildlife on his farm as part of the Jordan’s Farm Partnership scheme

Uta says, “In this intensively farmed countryside, tall hedgerows, wide field margins with rough grass, and overwintering stubble fields provide important shelter and food for invertebrates, birds and mammals. The contrast with a neighbouring farm is striking”.

Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive Officer at TWT says,  “We are hugely impressed with the commitment of these cereal farmers to support wildlife and the environment, which will benefit generations to come. They are playing an important role in nature’s recovery. We hope other farmers will take inspiration from them and follow their lead; it shows that farming that works with nature makes sense. The Jordans Farm Partnership demonstrates we don’t have to choose between wildlife and profitable food production.”

Read more and see the full report here.

Photograph: Field margin and hedgerow at the Jordans Farm Partnership farm in the south of Leicestershire (Uta Hamzaoui/LRWT)

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