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    • 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...

      2015 SDFBI Monitoring Project results

      19th Jan 2016
      Last summer, an army of volunteers spent two early mornings surveying farmland birds within pre-selected 1km grid squares across the South Downs.  In total 122 squares were covered, providing valuable data for the second year of the SDFBI Monitoring Project. The survey, which is repeated annually, uses the same methods employed in the British...Read More...

      SDFBI Lapwing Project

      13th Jan 2016
      Although the temperature drop over the last few days reminds us that we’re still in the grips of winter, it won’t be too long until farmland birds begin to turn their attentions to breeding.  One such species is the lapwing, whose tumbling display flight is a true sign that spring is springing! Over the last 20 years or so, we hav...Read More...

      Big Farmland Bird Count ID Days – book now!

      7th Jan 2016
      As the GWCTs Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) draws near, a number of bird ID days have been organised to help participants identify those 'little brown jobs' that are often seen flitting about in the undergrowth.  There are two events on the South Downs, one at Saddlescombe Farm near Brighton on 26th January hosted by Camilla & Roly...Read More...

      Wellies on? Binoculars ready? Let’s go count some birds!

      17th Dec 2015
      The third Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) will take place between the 6th and 14th February 2016, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) announced today. Launching this now annual event, GWCT’s Jim Egan said “more people than ever took part in last year’s count. The more people who count the better idea we have as to ho...Read More...

      New pollinator advice for farmers

      10th Dec 2015
      Paul Evans from the wildlife charity Buglife explains about a new source of advice soon to be available to farmers in Sussex….. Working quietly behind the scenes, our native insect pollinators help plants to reproduce and produce fruits and seeds which other birds and animals rely on for food.  Our own food is also dependent on these u...Read More...

      Project BOB - helping Barn Owls on the South Downs

      1st Dec 2015
      The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) tells us about their Barn Owl Box Project (Project BOB), a successful partnership working with farmers and landowners to conserve an enigmatic farmland species. Background With heart-shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white underparts, the barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside ...Read More...

      Can farms maintain high yields and boost wildlife?

      25th Nov 2015
      New research has emerged from the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research (CAER) at Reading University, showing that it is possible for farmers to maintain high yields and boost wildlife on their farms.  Using the Conservation Grade model, which requires participating farms to set aside at least 10% of their land as wildlife habitats, the study...Read More...

      CHaMP - improving water quality and biodiversity

      17th Nov 2015
      Chris Manning explains about an exciting new Brighton Chalk Management Partnership (CHaMP) Project......... Out of sight, under the Brighton and Lewes Downs and the city itself, spanning between the River Ouse in the east and River Adur in the west, sits a huge aquifer – a chalk sponge that stores millions of litres of groundwater. The Do...Read More...

      Turtle dove and lapwing see red

      3rd Nov 2015
      The IUCN, or International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has been assessing the conservation status of species on a global scale for the last 50 years.  Through the IUCN Red List, this has highlighted taxa threatened by extinction and promoted their conservation. In a press release issued last Thursday (29th October), it was revealed ...Read More...

      GWCT and RSPB demonstrate farmland bird recovery

      23rd Oct 2015
      Despite the continuing decline in a suite of farmland birds across the wider landscape, a recently published paper by the GWCT and the RSPB shows that these trends can be reversed.   Comparing long-term bird population changes at the GWCT's Allerton Project in Leicestershire and the RSPB's Hope Farm in Cambridgeshire, the study d...Read More...

      Changes to CSS evidence requirements

      21st Oct 2015
      As the first application round for the higher tier of Countryside Stewardship approaches, there have been some concerns over the level of recording and evidence required for management options and capital items.  In response to this, Natural England have recently made some revisions to the online documents, reflecting a streamlining of the rec...Read More...