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Juliet Hawkins

Juliet Hawkins

How long have you worked for Trust?

I’ve worked for Suffolk Wildlife Trust for 13 years.

How long been an Advisor? Does this role from part of another position at the Trust?

Quite some time—13 years for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, 30+ years a farm conservation advisor! My part-time role is complicated ... I have done and continue to do some pond research/advisory work for the Trust and then I do general farm advisory and the agri-environment scheme advisory work.

Can you explain your role as Farm Advisor?

My role is to advise the Jordans Farm Partnership farmers in Suffolk on maximising opportunities for wildlife on their farm. I’ve produced a thorough whole farm wildlife management plan that can be reviewed and updated as farming circumstances and wildlife priorities change. This plan really flags up what is already good and working well for priority wildlife on the farm - whether it be insect, bird, mammal, amphibian or fungi - and to come up with really practical advice on how to further improve farm and habitat management to protect and enhance this wildlife within a historic landscape.

Can you describe Halls Farm and how it is being managed to help wildlife?

Halls Farm is a predominantly arable farm of 206 hectare with some areas of grassland. Areas and margins are sown to rough grass to encourage barn owl and other birds of prey. Farmer Steve has had remarkable success with conservation measures for encouraging lapwing with a resulting 30 breeding pairs – probably unparalleled in Suffolk elsewhere except on nature reserves! He has a generous approach to farming - allowing ancient hedges to thicken out generously to create really good wide scrubby habitat; buffering his ancient parish boundary oak pollards; restoring ponds; re-planting old orchards with traditional fruit trees; and putting down large areas of farmland to wild bird cover, and of coursed not worrying about being over-tidy – all contributing to extra space and food/cover resources for wildlife.

Do you have family/pets?

A lovely farmer husband who is into history and archaeology, and three gorgeous daughters Holly, Ruby Tiger and Daisy who have nearly all grown up but come back home often, a hairy tabby cat and a black Labrador.

What’s your favourite species/wildlife passion?

Hmmm .... seasonally I have different favourites and I never have enough time to spend on any of them! Fungi, water beetles, great crested newts, arable plants, aquatic plants, moths ... the list is endless

Why do you feel managing farms for wildlife is important?

The vast majority of the UK is farmland, not nature reserves, so ensuring we maximise all opportunities for wildlife on farms is absolutely vital - and will be increasingly so as every inch of farmland is squeezed for productivity, development and creeping suburbanisation.

What is your favourite wild place in your local patch?

Our ancient meadow ... it has the common buttercups, knapweeds, field scabious .... and then it has the surprises that make it very special - Sulphur clover, adders tongue, quaking grass, devil’s bit scabious and the insects within ... Roesel’s bush crickets, brown argus butterfly, the ruby tiger moth ...

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