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Sian Williams

Sian Williams

How long have you worked for Trust? 

I have been working for the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust(BCN WT ) since 2007.

Can you explain your role as Farm Advisor?

My role as farm advisor for the Jordans Partnership project is to work with the two Jordans farmers in Cam-bridgeshire to understand the important wildlife features, including habitats and species, on their farms. Then I can provide management advice which focusses on those key features, and how they fit in to the bigger picture across the whole farm. This has included looking at which options to select in new Countryside Stewardship schemes, and where to place them. I have written Landscape and Nature Conservation and Enhancement Plans for Highfield farm and Lark Hall farm.

Can you describe your JFP farms and how they are being managed to help wildlife?

Both farms are on the chalk soils of south Cambridgeshire and both are arable farms, growing a mix of up to seven or eight crops each year.

Highfield farm is a 430 hectare farm, with big open fields separated by hedges, treebelts, and grassy margins. The farm encompasses a former chalk pit, now County Wildlife Site, which supports a wide range of wildflow-ers, and one of the aims of management is to allow these to spread. The very chalky soil is also great for rare arable plants which are dependent on this type of soil. The hedges and trees and open grassland areas provide habitat for a range of bird species, and while out surveying the farm, I heard a whole range of singing birds, including an impressive number of corn buntings.

Lark Hall farm covers a total of 627 hectares, spread out in several parcels. The main arable farm areas are made up of large rolling fields, bounded by hedges and interspersed with blocks of mixed and broadleaved woodland. There are blocks of land adjacent to the woods which are being managed for wildlife, including rough grassy areas which provide hunting grounds for barn owls, and areas sown with pollen and nectar mixes for insects or wild bird seed mixes to benefit a range or farmland birds. Modern drilling techniques being used at Lark Hall mean many fields don’t need to be ploughed and therefore provide undisturbed habitat for long periods of the year, which is great for farmland birds and other species such as brown hare.

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

My role as Conservation Officer includes surveying (e.g. botanical surveys, invertebrate and bat surveys), work-ing in partnership with landowners and other organisations on our Living Landscape projects, reviewing and responding to planning applications and a variety of other tasks. I started providing farm advice in 2008.

Do you have family? 

My family is spread out across the UK and Canada.

What’s your favourite species/wildlife passion? 

I like insects and other invertebrates. There are so many different types, and they are relatively easy to find.

Why do you feel managing farms for wildlife is important? 

Farms are an essential part of our landscape, which will always be needed. They provide great opportunities to create habitat for wildlife as well as produce food for people. Farmland and urban areas cover so much of our landscape that making sure there is space for wildlife in both of these habitats should be a key part of conservation.

What is your favourite wild place in your local patch?

I like spending time on our ancient woodland reserves, where you can get a sense of being

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