Producing great food with a passion for wildlife and the countryside has always been at the heart of Rob Kynaston’s approach to farming. Earlier this week, he was named as the winner of the RSPB Midlands Nature of Farming Award, recognising farmers who are ambassadors for wildlife in the farming community.
“I am unashamedly a proud custodian of the countryside” explains Rob “for me, conservation and farming go hand in hand. It’s all about looking at the whole farm and taking an integrated approach, from the way we look after our soil, our rotations, fertiliser use through to managing specific areas of the farm for wildlife.”
Rob has incorporated a number of key features on his farm to enhance biodiversity, including field margins, a reed bed and nectar producing set aside. He’s been actively involved with the RPSB for a number of years and bird populations are regularly monitored. The farm supports many species including lapwings, yellowhammers, grey partridges, skylarks, curlews, numerous hares and voles, 14 species of water boatmen and over 20 mosses and lichens.
Anna Broszkiewicz, RSPB’s Volunteer & Farmer Alliance Project Officer said, “What is remarkable about Robert, is his passion and enthusiasm for farming in partnership with protecting wildlife, whilst looking to the future. He sees a need to protect the environment and wildlife against climate change and works to develop his techniques to maximize his outputs whilst minimizing his inputs.”
As one of eight regional finalists, Rob will now go forward for the final round of the competition for the UK’s most wildlife-friendly farmer. From the 22nd July, the British public will be invited to cast their vote by ‘phone, post and online.
About Rob Kynaston
Rob farms Great Wollaston Farm, a 240 acre mixed family farm in Shropshire. He joined LEAF in 1999, became a Demonstration Farmer in 2002 and is now LEAF’s Vice-Chairman. To arrange a visit to Great Wollaston Farm, or any of LEAF’s Demonstration Farms across the UK, please visit www.leafuk.org