A hare’s whisker?

Remember back in April, we called for wildlife-friendly farmers to enter the RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Awards?

Well, now it’s time to vote! There are two LEAF members in the final four, and after we had LEAF members, Somerset and Carolyn Charrington win last year, we’d love to see LEAF members win this year too! The ones to look out for are Rob Allan, Upton Estate, and Peter Knight, Norfolk Estate.  Kathryn Smith, tells us more…


Kathryn Smith is an Agriculture Project Manager with the RSPB, supporting the delivery of free, practical advice and support to farmers across the UK who are stepping up and do their bit for wildlife. The Nature of Farming Award forms just a small part of that – find out more about what’s on offer at www.rspb.org.uk/farming


The voting period for this year’s RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award is well underway, with four farmers vying for the top spot as the UK’s most wildlife-friendly farmer. There’s only a hare’s whisker separating them, so we are all on tenterhooks watching the votes come in.  Will the overall winner be the Jess Ennis of 2012, leading all the way, or is there a Mo Farah biding his time to take the lead at the crucial moment?

Funded by the EU LIFE+ Programme, the Nature of Farming Award is the largest farmland wildlife competition in the UK, and along with our partners at Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation, it gives us a chance to celebrate the farmers that are making our countryside a better place. I’ve been lucky enough to visit one of the farms in the final and was utterly inspired by the work going on there, and the passion and dedication of the farmer. But I’ve also spoken to colleagues who have worked with each of the other finalists, and I know the same is true for them all!

LEAF members and Nature of Farming Awards finalists, Rob Allan and Peter Knight

These farmers are a real inspiration for what can be achieved, and I’m quite glad that I don’t have to make the final decision about the overall winner! That’s down to you and the thousands of others who vote to show their support for farmers who provide for wildlife at the same time as running profitable businesses. You can show your support for the vital role that farming plays in conservation by voting – to help you make up your mind, listen to what the finalists have to say on our Nature’s Voice podcast.

Voting closes on 5 September 2012 and by voting you will be in with a chance of winning a luxury break for 2 at Ragdale Hall.

If you’re inspired by what you see, why not consider entering the 2013 competition? Email nature-farming@rspb.org.uk

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