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    • 2017 SDFBI Bird Monitoring Project results are go!

      12th Jan 2018
      Following many hours of survey work across the South Downs last spring and summer, we now have the results from the 2017 SDFBI Bird Monitoring Project.  This represents the fourth year of the survey, which is building a valuable picture of how priority bird species are faring across the South Downs National Park. Maps have been prepared that ...Read More...

      Nature Friendly Farming Network launches today

      5th Jan 2018
      Today sees the launch of the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) at the Real Oxford Farming Conference.  A group of over 100 farmers are launching the network, providing a vision for the future of British Agriculture post Brexit. The independent organisation, chaired by Martin Lines who runs a family farm in Cambridgeshire, is calling on t...Read More...

      Working with our non-farming neighbours

      6th Dec 2017
      The Eastern South Downs Farmer Cluster recently ran an event entitled 'Working with our non-farming neighbours'. Cluster Facilitator, Anthony Weston, provides an update from the day........ The group met at Saddlescombe Farm for a farm walk kindly hosted and lead by Camilla and Roly Puzey. It was great to have a number of farmers and grazi...Read More...

      Arun Valley waders - the 2017 results

      24th Nov 2017
      Rising in the Weald, bisecting the South Downs between Bury and Arundel, and then entering the sea at Littlehampton, the Arun Valley is a hotspot for breeding waders in the South East.  Much of the lower part of the valley south of Pulborough is designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA)...Read More...

      Lapwing success in the Arun Valley

      24th Aug 2017
      Now in its third year, the Arun to Adur Farmers Group has several projects underway to improve and enhance the wildlife, cultural and historic value of the project area.  One such project is a breeding wader survey in the Arun Valley that started this spring.  The overall aim is assess how birds such as lapwing and redshank are faring, an...Read More...

      Farm opens it gates to the public

      27th Jun 2017
      How many members of the public can explain in any detail how a crop of wheat is grown to produce a loaf of bread, or how a lamb is produced that ends up on their plate for a Sunday roast?  Not many I would suggest! It seems that in this age of convenience, consumers are well removed from where their food comes from.  But why should people...Read More...

      Arun to Adur Farm Cluster event - Sunday 25th June

      20th Jun 2017
      On Sunday 25th June, Lee Farm on the Angmering Park Estate is opening it's doors to the public to demonstrate life on a working farm.  Lee Farm is part of the Arun to Adur Farmers Group, a landscape scale project where farmers are working together to benefit wildlife and the environment. During the day there will be sheep dog trails, shee...Read More...

      SDFBI 2016 survey results are in

      30th Nov 2016
      2016 saw the third year of the SDFBI Bird Monitoring Project.  This year 75 volunteers surveyed 118 1km grid squares across the South Downs National Park.  Full results can be found on our website here, and the infographic below lists some of the key facts and figures....Read More...

      SDFBI volunteer thank you event

      21st Sep 2016
      We started the SDFBI Bird Monitoring Project in 2014 to collect data that would show us how farmland birds are faring across the South Downs.  The idea was to provide a much more meaningful measure of conservation success for our local area compared to the Regional Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) datasets. Three years on and the project is still g...Read More...

      2016 South Downs Lapwing Survey results

      25th Aug 2016
      It’s been a while since our last update on the SDFBI Lapwing Project, and the breeding season has now ended for another year.  This year’s fieldwork has provided lots of useful data, although unfortunately results were not great. Wet, windy and cold weather through large parts of April and May weren’t conducive to good lapwi...Read More...

      B-Line update

      1st Jul 2016
      Paul Evans from Buglife provides an update on the B-Line project Hi everyone I am very pleased to send you all the latest B-Lines Update, which provides a brief summary of our work over the past few months.  This update summarises work across the country as we continue to expand and develop our B-Lines work . In addition it highlights the im...Read More...

      Landscapes for Wild Pollinators and Farm Wildlife Project

      25th May 2016
      Laurie Jackson, Buglife Farm Pollinator and Wildlife Advisor, give us an update on work underway on the South Downs.......   Do you own or manage land in the eastern South Downs (Brighton to Seaford)? This area is a hotspot for many farmland birds and also for rare chalk grassland invertebrates.  As such, Buglife has identified it as a ...Read More...

      The nests are down - SDFBI Lapwing Project update

      5th May 2016
      It’s been a strange spring, which up until this week has felt more like winter!  Clear skies and frosts through much of April haven’t been ideal nesting conditions, particularly for ground nesters like lapwing.  However, the weather forecast is for warming conditions over the next few days, so fingers crossed spring is now in ...Read More...

      Time to think now - Countryside Stewardship

      28th Apr 2016
      CLA Rural Advisor, Megan Cameron, gives us the CLAs thoughts on Countryside Stewardship............ The window is still open for farmers and landowners interested in applying for Countryside Stewardship grants to protect and enhance the natural environment.  Farmers need to look now at the environmental management work they are already doing...Read More...

      Extension to CS Higher Tier deadline announced

      20th Apr 2016
      Natural England have recently announced that the Higher Tier deadline for initial application has been extended: Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier 2016 – application extension agreed Following feedback from a number of stakeholders, and after significant interest, we are extending the deadline for submitting Higher Tier applications by 2 ...Read More...

      Spring/Summer 2016 Farm Flyer now available

      14th Apr 2016
      The latest edition of the SDFBI's newsletter, the Farm Flyer, is now available here.  This edition contains information on the results from the SDFBI Bird Monitoring Project, and update on the GWCT's Sussex Study Area, Countryside Stewardship in 2016, the SDFBI Lapwing Project and the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund....Read More...

      2016 Big Farmland Bird Count results are in

      31st Mar 2016
      This February saw a flock of farmers, gamekeepers and land managers join together to count their farmland birds. With nearly 1,000 farmers spotting 130 species, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) 2016 Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) has been an incredible success. Taking half an hour out of their busy schedules to count, the ...Read More...

      Countryside Stewardship Mythbusters

      23rd Mar 2016
      This years application window for Countryside Stewardship (CS) is now open.  Following on from the lessons learnt last year, there are some common misconceptions around the scheme and what you need to think about if your applying.  Here, Natural England break down some of the myths and set the record straight   Myth: Unless my land...Read More...

      New Buglife Farm Advisor

      9th Mar 2016
      Laurie Jackson, the new Buglife Farm Advisor for Kent and Sussex tells us about her project and how she can help you....... Buglife, The Invertebrate Conservation Trust are pleased to offer landowners and farmers across Sussex free, tailored advice and support on how to create, locate and manage beneficial features for wild insect pollinators. ...Read More...

      SDFBI Lapwing Project update

      3rd Mar 2016
      March is now upon us, and it won’t be long before lapwings will be performing their tumbling display flight over the Downs.  In the lead up to the breeding season, we have been busy working with farmers to prepare HLS fallow plots to provide not only suitable nesting habitat, but also areas in which they will be able to feed and find cov...Read More...