Nature-friendly farming group helps wildlife across 28% of their land – an area the size of more than 6000 football pitches - The Wildlife Trusts

Brown Hare (c)  David Tipling 2020 Vision
Brown Hare (c) David Tipling 2020 Vision

A new report from The Wildlife Trusts reveals that nature-friendly farmers from the Jordan’s Farm Partnership have provided an area greater than Cambridge for farmland wildlife as part of their efforts to boost nature’s recovery. The group of over 30 cereal farmers are proving that commercial agriculture can flourish while also restoring nature.

Between 2020 and 2021 Jordan’s oat growers collectively farmed 15,000 hectares of countryside, of which over 4,200 hectares (28%) is managed for wildlife to support nature’s recovery, with the help of tailor-made farm wildlife plans devised by Wildlife Trust advisers.

These plans assist farmers in their efforts to improve and increase the wildlife habitats on their farms, such as ponds, hedgerows and wilder field edges, helping to give a boost to endangered species such as lapwing, grey partridge and yellowhammer. A host of other wildlife benefits too – from pollinators to brown hare and barn owl.

Joan Edwards, director of policy and public affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, says: “The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and nature-friendly farming has a vital role to play in tackling the nature and climate crisis. It’s fantastic to see how growers in the Jordans Farm Partnership are making a huge difference to nature’s recovery. These inspirational farmers demonstrate that we don’t have to settle for either commercial cereal growing or restoring nature – they show how farms can actively help wildlife thrive once more. By restoring wild features such as wildflower meadows, waterways and hedgerows, farmers are providing homes for bees, birds and butterflies and a wealth of other species.”

In a recent poll of Jordans growers, 100% of responding farmers said they had seen a noticeable increase in wildlife on their farms since joining the partnership. Farmers reported a visible increase in a range of species from brown hares to pollinators through to endangered species such as grey partridge, lapwing and yellowhammer. Many of the farmers reported seeing species for the first time ever after creating or extending habitats such as barn owls, bullfinches, and otters. Others have had species such as honey buzzards visit for the first time since joining the group.

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Posted On: 03/02/2022

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