Nicholas has farmed at Vine House Farm since 1964. His inspiration and enthusiasm for farming and wildlife is the reason why Vine House Farm Bird Foods was born. The team around him has grown over the years, to not only manage a growing farm, but build a bird seed business too. With his team behind him, Nicholas is able to dedicate more time to his passion of caring for wildlife.
Nicholas was made an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list in 2006. He was given the honour for his services to farming and conservation in Lincolnshire. At the time, Nicholas said: "This is totally unexpected. It's a shock but a very nice one. It's nice to have all my work over the years recognised. I don't suppose it will alter my life. I'll still keep on doing what I've been doing." He also said: "I like to see the birds about and help other people look after the birds on their farms. I am a farmer as well as a conservationist. It goes hand in hand. I suppose this is what all the work I've done over the years has amounted to."
Nicholas researches and trials conservation ideas on his farm and then shares results and advice with other farmers and conservation bodies. He has come up with advice for the best way to harvest oil seed rape, information which is now given out nationally by the RSPB.
Nicholas' son-in-law joined Vine House Farm in 2001 as Farm Manager. Since Nicholas started farming at Vine House Farm the farm has grown substantially from the original 280 acres to now over 2500 acres. Robert manages the farm with wildlife in mind and he and his team help implement many of the ideas that Nicholas has for wildlife conservation. Robert is also responsible for growing the crops of Sunflower and Millet that Vine House Farm is famous for.
Nicholas' middle daughter joined the family business in 2004 to help manage the bird seed business, which has grown massively in the last 20 years. The ethos of bird seed supplied direct from our conservation award winning farm is still very much at the heart of the business. Lucy works closely with Nicholas to make sure that Vine House Farm is able to offer its customers with the very best bird food and feeding accessories. Each year new prototype feeders and foods are trialled to ensure that we are able to offer the very best of foods for your garden birds.
Other team members
We are lucky that we have a good core team here at Vine House Farm, who are vital to the success of the business. Three of our team have worked for Nicholas, or his family, for over 35 years. In total, our farm and bird seed business employs over 20 people.