Nice farmers – make your choice

It’s time to vote in the Nature of Farming award which is the UK’s biggest farm wildlife award.

Last year 22,000 of us voted to choose the winner from four finalists chosen by experts.

The award is sponsored by the Daily Telegraph and the EU Life+ Programme and is a partnership between the RSPB, Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation.

The award has never been won by an English farm although it has travelled around Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Perhaps with three English farms in the shortlist this year (and one from Northern Ireland) it is the turn of the English.

But which to choose?

My vote goes to Henry Edmunds even though the other farmers are hugely deserving too.

I met Henry many times at his excellent farm and I remember him delighting in showing me the chalk grassland on his farm which he has looked after and in some cases created.  Henry has done a lot for stone curlews over the years and his farm went organic some years back.  He’s such a nice guy, and a really wildlife-friendly farmer, that he gets a mention in Chapter 7 of Fighting for Birds.

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7 Replies to “Nice farmers – make your choice”

  1. I've voted for Henry Edmunds too. As a lover of Wiltshire's chalk grassland I couldn't really vote for anyone else. Massive thumbs up for everything Henry has done!

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  2. What happened to secret ballots. In this day and age of openness I will have to admit to voting for Henry Edmunds too. It is nice to see Cholderton joining up Salisbury Plain with the RSPB's Winterbourne Reserve. So the Wiltshire contingent have had their say (and Dennis you can be an honorary one for this exercise) and it will be interesting to see what others think. I do think when farmers do that extra bit for the environment they should all be rewarded (or is that what CAP is for).

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  3. Hi Mark

    I have been to Henry's farm and think he is an excellent choice, but my vote goes to Rob Allan in my old stamping ground of Oxfordshire. Rob is not as fortunate as Henry in having a rare bird like stone-curlew in his area, but he looks after what is there to great effect and he has a great ethos to management of the farm. He is successfully in trying innovative things like his 'sandwich margins' and does plenty off his own bat http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/rob_allan_tcm9-319009.pdf.

    Also great to see two farmers up here in Shropshire being rightly awarded 'Highly Commended' in the regional awards, and a welcome blog pointing out that there are plenty of passionate farmers out there doing great things for wildlife.

    Mike

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  4. Bob ,that is indeed a honour,update on Hawaiian Goose,have not been able to go for a few days as hip playing up while waiting for op but the first time it was in with 50 plus Canada's and acouple of days later they had moved to next door lake and H G had stayed put in with about 8 Mallards,guess it is the reported one flying in South Wilts as we are only about 5 miles from border.
    Always find it difficult voting for the top farmer as they all do such great work,my guess is they get a certain reward with being in the final and also from the wildlife on their farms,doubt it is not all about monetary reward although that obviously in most cases encourages them to do more.

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  5. On a recent visit to England, my wife and I were taken on a tour of the Duke of Norfolk's estate by Peter Knight, one of the four farmers short-listed for the Nature of Farming Award. We were most impressed. The work that Peter Knight has done in restoring hedgerows and making room for beetle banks has helped enormously to bring back nesting sites, generally increase the number of butterflies and invertebrates. He has helped to negate some of the damage caused by the intensive farm mangement of the last four decades. If votes from overseas are valid, my wife and I would certainly vote for Peter Knight. Long may he reign, together with those of his ilk, until the English countryside is fully restored to something close to its former glory.

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