Wildlife partnership flying high

Wildlife partnership flying high

The Wildlife Trusts celebrate a flourishing 10 year partnership with Vine House Farm

Vine House Farm, the home of pioneering wildlife-friendly farmer Nicolas Watts and his family, grows 400 acres of bird seed, including 100 acres of sunflowers, and is a haven for a host of wildlife.

Nicholas Watts, Lucy Taylor & Robert Golland © Vine House Farm

This month The Wildlife Trusts are celebrating a flourishing 10 year partnership with Vine House Farm, working together for wildlife. By donating up to 5% of its sales to The Wildlife Trusts, Vine House Farm has raised over £1,250,000 to support wildlife conservation across the country, and inspire people to experience wildlife first-hand.

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Stephanie Hilborne, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts said:

“Ten years ago, we chose to partner with Vine House Farm not just because they produce great bird seed but because of the amazing things they were doing for wildlife on their own farm, and their very real commitment to our work.

“People taking action in the places that are closest and most important to them is a powerful force for change. The thousands of people who buy the bird seed are doing just this, and so too are Nicholas and his daughter Lucy. We’re very proud to be working with Vine House Farm to bring about nature’s recovery and to bring the joy of wildlife into more people’s lives. “

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Harvesting sunflowers © Nicholas Watts

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Partnerships, The Wildlife Trusts said:

“The Watts family are true nature conservation leaders, and their incredible long- term support over the last year 10yrs has enabled us to protect and enhance wildlife in every corner of the UK.

“We look forward to working with Nicholas and his family at Vine House Farm for many more years to come, and to celebrating how our relationship is helping to connect people with the natural world and benefit our precious wildlife and wild places.

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Through the support of Vine House Farm, The Wildlife Trusts have been able to restore beautiful grasslands, conserve ancient woodlands, and protect wetland habitats.”

VHF Margin © Nicholas Watts

Fourth-generation farmer Nicholas has been working the land at Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, since he was a boy. His bird watching hobby became part of his work in 1992, leading to an MBE for his wildlife conservation work and wildlife-friendly farm management, and many other awards.

Nicholas Watts MBE, said: “Farming this way is a way of life for us and it brings about great pleasure to see wildlife thriving. I have always enjoyed feeding birds and now I am feeding more than I could ever have imagined with the help of our customers!”

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Over the last 20 years, thanks to wildlife-friendly measures put in place at the farm, barn owl and whitethroat numbers have quadrupled, and tree sparrow and lapwing numbers have increased ten-fold.

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Steve Ott
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