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The search begins to find 2012s most wildlife friendly farmer




The RSPB has launched its annual search to find the farmer that does the most for nature.

The Nature of Farming Award aims to find the farmer who has put in the most work on their land to help threatened countryside species. The competition is run by the RSPB, supported by Butterfly Conservation and Plantlife, and sponsored by The Telegraph.

The conservation charity has already received a high level of entries, with applications being accepted until the 20th April.

Last year’s winners, Carolyne and Somerset Charrington of Treshnish Farm, said: “We were extremely proud to have been chosen as the winners of the RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award last year. It was a huge boost to our confidence and proved that what we’ve been doing in terms of farming, conservation and sustainability is working.

“We have a popular coastal path that brings locals and visitors onto the farm daily, and it’s great to share their enjoyment of the wildlife they encounter.”

After the closing date, entries will be shortlisted to eight regional winners, and then a panel of experts will decide which four should go through to the national finals. There will also be a highly commended category, to recognise the efforts of farmers who have excelled in their support of farmland wildlife.

The UK public will decide the overall winner by casting their votes online, over the phone, via The Telegraph, or at country shows throughout the summer. Last year the competition attracted an unprecedented number of votes, with over 22,000 people backing their favourite finalist.

RSPB Head of Species and Habitats Conservation and one of this year’s judges, Darren Moorcroft, said: “There are so many great farmers out there who have taken the small and simple steps, like putting in skylark plots and wild bird seed mixtures, which makes a real difference to health of our countryside.

“The standard of entries and winners since we launched this award in 2008 is truly inspirational. I can’t wait to see this year’s gems.”

This year’s judging panel:

Darren Moorcroft – RSPB Head of Species and Habitats Conservation

Martin Warren Butterfly Conservation Chief Executive

Victoria Chester Plantlife Chief Executive

Fergus Collins Countryfile Magazine

All the details on how to enter can be found on the RSPB website at

The EU LIFE+ Programme funds RSPB work which supports wildlife-friendly farming that furthers sustainable development.


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