Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How intensive farming and Wildlife can co-exist


Its been a busy few months here on KILLROWAN Farm. We are constantly trying to improve the Farm and create a sustainable high animal welfare enterprise. We have put a lot of work into both the lowland and the hill farm but there is still so much to improve upon. Mike and I both work full time off farm, while we would both love to be able to farm full time, currently it's just not financially viable. At present we are putting so much money into farm improvements that there is very little income from the farm. However we have a three year plan to turn this around.

We truly believe that there could be a lot more support to help farmers like ourselves, we are both passionate about wildlife and biodiversity and it is an integral part of how the farm works. We feel that farmers should be encouraged to have more Wildlife friendly farms with payments provided for doing so. If the urgent need to support our natural habitats is not addressed the next generation will be left with this generation's awful legacy.


We currently have  a wild bird habitat on the farm in the form of seed rich cover crop where wild birds are thriving. We've have seen all sorts of birds benefiting from this area and has also brought in some amazing birds of prey to the farm. We have nest boxes put up around the farm in order to encourage nesting. We are hoping to put up owl boxes in the near future.



We have seen and array of wildlife on the farm such as Rabbits, Hares,Foxes,Stoats,Red Squirrels, Hedgehogs,Bats,Owls, Buzzards, Pheasants, Sika and Red Deer and the list goes on! We also have a vast array of small birds and song birds. Our most recent lodgers appear to be Little Egrets. They have been observed feeding in the lower wet area of the farm on a weekly basis.  

The fox has always been an enemy on farms, but we find that with the large variety of wildlife for the fox to choose from they keep away from our hens and lambs. This in itself proves a point. Five years ago, before we started planting our wild bird areas and encouraging biodiversity we had a constant battle with Mr Fox!

 

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