A big Thank you for everyone who voted for Nicholas in the RSPB Nature of Farming Awards. It gives me great pleasure to inform you all that he has been announced thewinner against a tough field of seven other regional finalists. He couldn’t have managed it without you all as the final decision was by public vote.

Here at VHF we are all very proud of Nicholas, it amazes us all and me especially with the effort and enthusiasm that he ploughs into the wildlife on our farm and surrounding area. The prize we believe is a just reward for a lifetimes dedication and devotion to wildlife. Well done Nicholas!

The prestigious RSPB Nature of Farming Award recognises the vital work certain farmers do in making a real effort for wildlife on their own farms. Each year the RSPB invites entries from farmers across the UK, with expert judges then determining eight regional winners.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation commented: “Nicholas impressed us with the way he constantly comes up with original ideas for creating habitat, not frightened to try something new but equally not afraid to admit when things need to change.  Nicholas has a profitable farm business that gives nature a home. His many years of experience provide others with knowledge and motivation to follow in his footsteps, so his impact is far beyond his own farm gate. We are delighted to showcase the excellent work that farmers like Nicholas are achieving for our threatened farmland wildlife.”

Nicholas commentedIn 1992, after recording the breeding birds on my farm for 10 years, I realised there had been a big drop in numbers. This worried me so I set about trying to reverse that decline and I have succeeded with several species.

“Since the mid 1990’s the national numbers of some farmland birds, such as the yellow wagtail, have continued to decline. I’m delighted to have shown that it’s possible to buck this trend, but I feel that farmers need to be given as much support as possible to put wildlife back on the land.

“We all want good quality food to eat, but most also want colour and birdsong in our farmed countryside too. Now, more than ever, we need the Government to support farmers like me and the many others who are doing good things for wildlife but who can’t continue without the financial support to do it.”

Paul Wilkinson, The Wildlife Trusts’ Head of Living Landscapes also congratulates Nicholas and comments:

“I am thrilled that Nicholas has won this award. He has succeeded in running a profitable farm while giving a huge helping hand to nature - The Wildlife Trusts recognize that farmers and landowners should be the backbone of conservation and restoration efforts. The support that he’s given to The Wildlife Trusts has been invaluable.”

To find out more about the work that Nicholas carried out here at Vine House Farm please visit our conservation page.