Vine House Farm is forging a long-term partnership with The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The new collaboration, brings together BTO’s ornithological expertise and Vine House Farm’s commitment to local and sustainably produced bird food, and is motivated by a shared ambition to making a positive impact for birds, science and people.

It is estimated that more than half of all households in the UK engage in feeding birds in their gardens. BTO has long been at the forefront of monitoring and researching the effects of food provision on wild birds. This work has yielded fascinating insights into how the UK public’s bird feeding habits have impacted wild bird populations and helped to produce best practice guidance for feeding birds safely. The new partnership between BTO and Vine House Farm will provide an opportunity to engage many more people in the enjoyable habit of feeding garden birds and to help them learn how to do this in the best ways for their birds.

Nicholas Watts has been associated with BTO since 1960, contributing to many BTO surveys and monitoring schemes.

Professor Juliet Vickery, BTO Chief Executive Officer, said “BTO is delighted to be joining Vine House Farm in a partnership that recognises the joy that feeding birds in gardens brings to thousands of people and the need to ensure that this food is high quality and sustainably sourced. Their support of BTO will help us to engage more people in discovering birds and help to conserve and understand them on our doorstep and further afield.”

Lucy Taylor, General Manager, said “The BTO  is a natural partner for Vine House Farm and this partnership will help our customers, understand more about the birds they feed and enable us to contribute even more to bird conservation..”

BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. BTO maintains a staff of 120 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations.


Other charity partners

Following a review in early 2023, The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, based in Newark, decided they would no longer pursue a national bird food partnership and our agreement ended on October 1st 2023.

We’ve donated nearly £2.5million to The Wildlife Trusts during our time together, of which we are immensely proud and thank our customers for their support. Craig Bennett, CEO of RSWT, seen here receiving the £2million cheque from Lucy & Nicholas in 2021.

It’s well known that many associations between brands and charities are  there for the financial gain  of both parties. At Vine House Farm though, the reasons run much deeper and our relationship with The Wildlife Trusts reflected not just the ethos we have about wildlife farming, but the concern we have for the wider health of the environment we all live in.

A measure of our commitment to the relationship was the fact that we gave 4% of our sales to The Wildlife Trusts for customer purchases whether they were a Wildlife Trust member or not, and £10 for every new Wildlife Trust member becoming a Vine House Farm customer.

So our commitment to The Wildlife Trusts was long term and still is - Nicholas is the chairman of our local Wildlife Trust - South Holland branch of Lincolnshire, having been a continuous member since 1964. We are continuing to to work with some individual Wildlife Trusts, including Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire,  Surrey, North Wales, Gwent and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. We hope to support more in the coming months