At present, 23 species have been identified by the Wildlife Trust Farm Advisors as Conservation Focus species. Each farm in the Jordans Farm Partnership must create specific plans for at least four Conservation Focus Species. The five here are some that are most common across Jordans Oats Growers Farms.
Bees & Pollinators
At least 1500 species of insects pollinate plants in the UK including bumble bees, the honey bee, solitary bees, hoverflies, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies and moths. Pollinators are vital for ensuring that many of our crops are successful and so produce food for us making them of great value to the economy; in the UK, the value added by insect pollination to crop production has been estimated at over £650 million a year.
What is the Jordans Farm Partnership Doing? Managing an area of land equal to 5% of their farmed land for wild pollinators and farm wildlife. This provides year-round habitat of food, nest sites and shelter. This equates to 2000 acres or 1,800 football pitches!
The turtle dove is a small dove. They have a purring 'turrr turrr turr' song, compared to the familiar 'hoo hoooo-hoo' of the collared dove.
The turtle dove has suffered serious declines in recent decades due to changing agricultural practices and habitat loss. The population has fallen by 96% since 1970 and it is one of the UK’s fastest declining species.
What is the Jordans Farm Partnership Doing? Creating areas of habitat that turtle doves love; allowing thick, tall scrub to grow for nesting, close to ponds so water can be used to produce ‘pigeon milk’ and leaving spilt grain for the adults to feed on.
A familiar bird of farmlands and wetlands recognised by its long crest, black and white pattern and the very broad, bluntly rounded shape of its wings.
As spring approaches, males put on dramatic aerial displays, tumbling through the air, accompanied by their piercing 'peewit' call. Females can be spotted on nests which are simple scrapes in mud or sand and, by late spring, cute, fluffy lapwing chicks can be seen venturing out to forage.
Once very common, the lapwing has suffered a serious decline in numbers over recent years as a result of changes in land use and farming practices. These ground-nesting birds need low-disturbance areas to breed, and shallow waters to feed.
What is the Jordans Farm Partnership Doing? Creating wildlife-friendly farming practices; providing rough, short, open habitat for nesting next to a foraging habitat with plenty of invertebrates for feeding hungry chicks.
Perhaps the most familiar owl, the barn owl will often hunt during the daytime and can be seen 'quartering' over fields and grasslands looking for its next small mammal meal. However, barn owls are also perfectly adapted to hunt in darkness with deadly precision: their silent flight and heart-shaped face which directs high-frequency sounds, help them to find mice and voles in the vegetation.
Although widespread across Britain and even the world, barn owls have suffered huge declines here over the last 50 years due to agricultural intensification and habitat loss.
What is the Jordans Farm Partnership Doing? Helping halt this decline by providing suitable nestboxes and managing habitats for barn owls and the small mammals, like voles, that they prey on.
Brown hares graze on vegetation and nibble bark from young trees and bushes. Hares shelter in a 'form', which is simply a shallow depression in the ground or grasses, but when disturbed, can be seen bounding across fields using their powerful hind legs to propel them forwards, often in a zigzag pattern. In early spring, brown hares are at their most visible as the breeding season encourages fighting or 'boxing'.
Hares are a golden-brown colour, with a pale belly and a white tail. They can be distinguished from the familiar rabbit as it is much larger with longer legs and longer ears with black tips.
The number of brown hares has fallen by about 75% since World War II. This decline appears to be largely due to changes in farming practices and the intensification of agriculture.
What is the Jordans Farm Partnership Doing? Providing habitat more suitable for this iconic farmland species; rough grassland at field corners and margins and overwintering stubble provide year-round cover for hares and the young leverets. Leaving areas of un-cut permanent grassland can provide a food source throughout the year.