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Become a CRT Trustee

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This is an exciting opportunity to join the Countryside Restoration Trust’s Board of Trustees.

Do you have recent and relevant financial experience – including a good understanding of developing financial strategy, ethical investment policy and financial controls principles?

Do you have a professional accountancy qualification or demonstrable equivalent experience?

Do you have experience and an understanding of regulations and compliance in terms of financial reporting for the charity sector including knowledge of the new SORP 2015 and its implications for CRT’s reporting requirements?

Then we could use your help!

The CRT are looking for an experienced new Board Member with extensive financial experience to join our existing Trustees. As the finance Trustee, you would be heavily involved in ensuring that the CRT complies with relevant legislation or regulations, formulating and approving strategic goals so as to ensure that the trust pursues its charitable objects and also ensuring that the CRT adopts and observes policies which ensure that resources are applied exclusively in pursuance of its objects.

The position would be voluntary, but expenses would be remunerated within reason.

Full details of the position can be downloaded here.

If you believe that your skills and experience will help the organisation to meet its legislative responsibilities and support our strategic and financial planning, please get in touch with us.

The deadline for applications is 9th March 2017. Please email your application to Sarah Stannage (Director), with a covering letter and details of your experience. Meetings with prospective Trustees are scheduled for mid-March  2017.

The Countryside Restoration Trust is the UK’s leading charity promoting wildlife-friendly farming and campaigning for a living, working countryside. We believe that wildlife is integral to good farming. This philosophy is put into practice on over 2,000 acres of working farms, small-holdings and woodland across the country.

Launched in response to growing fears about intensive and industrialised farming, the CRT initially aimed to purchase land which had been intensively farmed, in order to restore it to a living countryside, rather than a lifeless food factory. As the CRT has grown its aims have broadened to encompass purchasing farmland and woodland where traditional farming methods, wildlife habitat and biodiversity are under threat.

The CRT promotes a working countryside using sensitive and sympathetic farming practices that encourage and protect wildlife to produce quality food.

How to follow the CRT

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With January coming to a close, things are heating up at the CRT and it has never been easier to keep up to date with what’s going on!

Please read down this page to see the many different ways you can follow the CRT throughout 2017.

Twitter

You can follow the CRT on Twitter @CRTbarton.

The Trust’s feed is updated regularly with news updates, pictures of wildlife and agriculture, event information and general updates.
Please feel free to tweet us questions, comments and general chat – we will always try to reply where we can!

Facebook

Add the CRT on Facebook by clicking here and clicking the ‘like’ button.

As with Twitter, you will see our latest pictures, updates on our properties, current news stories and topical updates. You can also use Facebook to get in touch by posting questions, comments and general chat – we will always try to reply where we can!

Instagram

Follow the CRT on Instagram by clicking here or by searching for the Countryside Restoration Trust on Instagram.

We are relatively new to Instagram and would like a few more followers, so please visit our page and follow us. In return, you will see some fantastic photographs taken by some of our photographer friends, images taken in house and some pictures lifted from our amazing archive. We will also be posting some short videos in time!

www.crtuk.org

As ever, the CRT website will be the best place to read about what is going on at the Trust. With regular news stories, fundraising updates and information on all of our other farms and properties. It is also the place to find out any information about events, education and volunteering. If it’s not reported here, it’s not confirmed!

Friends’ section

Friends of the Trust can login to their own area of the website to manage their account, renew their subscription and read digital versions of the Lark.

Education

Read all about our Outdoor Learning Programme and the education schemes at each of our farms, as well as browsing our fact sheets and downloads. We also have some pictures for kids to download and colour in – but remember to send us some images of the finished product!

Our properties

Find out all of the information you need on each of our farms and small holdings, including their history and what we have done with regards to restoration, conservation and agriculture.

E-Newsletter

Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive monthly updates direct to your inbox by visiting our website and clicking on ‘newsletter signup’ at the top of the page.

We will inform you of the latest news, summaries of everything that has been going on and information on events and fundraising. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The Lark

If you prefer to have your news in a less digital format, make sure you join as a Friend, so you can receive your tri-annual copy of the Lark magazine.

With articles written by staff, trustees and partners, the Lark has become a much anticipated publication which is sent to our subscribers three times a year.

Join as a Friend

2017 Events coming soon

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The CRT hold numerous events throughout the year across all of of our properties.

2017 will also see the relaunch of our Friends’ Events programme, which will include events such as a Lamb and Cowslip Walk with Robin Page, talks, wildlife walks and farming demonstrations.

Dates for all of our events taking place in 2017 will be announced soon.

To keep up to date with CRT news, why not subscribe to our e-newsletter, by filling in your details below:

Newsletter Signup

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Water Shrews break 17 year absence

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Water Shrews have returned to the Bourn Brook at Lark Rise Farm following an absence of seventeen years.

The findings were identified by CRT’s Head of Monitoring, Dr Vince Lea, a team of CRT monitors and the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group  as they undertook a small mammal trapping survey in Nan’s Meadow on Lark Rise Farm this past weekend. The survey carried out was actually a repeat survey of one conducted two years ago which involved the use of seventy two traps which were operated over two nights. However, the results were somewhat different with previous findings revealing a high quantity of field voles, a moderate number of Wood and Harvest Mice, but only a small number of Shrews.

This year Field Voles were again relatively abundant, as were Wood Mice. A few shrews and Bank Voles, were also identified but sadly no Harvest mice at all. The best result of the weekend was to catch one Water Shrew; the largest shrew species and one that requires an abundance of aquatic invertebrates in order to thrive, something which the Bourn Brook can effectively provide. However, there was no evidence of Water Shrews in a special survey conducted last year. The last recording of a Water Shrew at Lark Rise Farm was back in 1999, when two were identified by Dr Bob Stebbing. Although his methods have been replicated by our monitoring officers since 2009, there haven’t been any sightings.

Dr Vince Lea states: “The high number of field voles is the reason Barn Owls have thrived this year, in fact on Sunday morning we were surprised to discover three Short-eared Owls in the field where we were doing the survey – they are probably Scandinavian migrants come to feast on our voles for the winter!”

The Water Shrew (Neomys fodiens) lives almost entirely in wetland habitats, in small burrows in the bank of rivers. It feeds on small invertebrate prey and despite not having webbed feet, it swims well underwater aided by a fringe of stiffer hairs on its back feet and hair on its feet.

Lark Rise Farm is based in Cambridge and was purchased at the foundation of the Trust in 1993. Tenant farmer, Tim Scott, believes that farming does not need to involve intensified systems and works closely with the CRT to employ methods which enable wildlife to thrive. Using techniques such as smaller field sizes, crop rotations, leaving over-wintering stubble, beetle banks, wildlife strips and planting over 4.5 miles of new hedgerows, Lark Rise has been transformed from an intensively farmed wildlife desert into a productive 400 acre arable farm which now teems with wildlife.

2017 Events Coming Soon

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The Countryside Restoration Trust are very excited to once again be holding a Reindeer Event in association with Bury Lane Farm Shop on Thursday December 1st 2016.

This year we are moving away from our usual evening event and holding something which we believe is far more in line with our ethos and what our charity stands for. The event will therefore focus fully on the beautiful Cairngorm Reindeer, their wellbeing, the conservation surrounding them and informing children that reindeer are not just for Christmas!

We will be holding the event during the day between 11am and 3pm, to fit in with the Reindeers’ natural waking hours and routine. We will also be able to engage with younger children who were unable to see the reindeer on previous events and invite schools to come and learn about these creatures as part of their curriculum. With many reindeer being kept in unsuitable conditions throughout the year, we believe that the Cairngorm Reindeer should be celebrated as the only free ranging herd of Reindeer in the UK and we would like to focus on educating visitors on the importance of this, especially during the festive season.

We have invited local schools to come and see the Reindeer and learn all about their natural behaviour and how they survive in the wild…each child will be provided with a learning pack filled with useful information about the Cairngorm Reindeer herd and a puzzle book, so they can put their newly acquired knowledge to the test! If you are a teacher and would like to bring a class to the event, please contact us as soon as possible to book a slot.

Anybody is welcome to come and visit the Reindeer, so why not make it an extra excuse to visit Bury Lane Farm Shop, have a coffee and make a start on your Christmas shopping!

Where: Bury Lane Farm Shop, A10 Bypass, Melbourn, Royston, Herts, SG8 6DF
When: Thursday 1st December, 11am-3pm

Rustics Brave the Rain…

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With the rain pelting down in sheets on Saturday, we were expecting the Rustics meeting to be something of a damp squib…how wrong we were!

By 10am we had a group of a dozen hardy volunteers, not perturbed by the rain and fully dedicated to the job in hand – hedge laying.

Hedgelaying is the only hedgerow maintenance method currently available which promotes regrowth from ground level and which will ensure the health and longevity of the hedgerow, unlike flailing/mechanical cutting will can irreversibly damage individual plants. It is hugely important as it promotes a much thicker regrowth and therefore provides greater habitat for nesting birds and small mammals. This denser regrowth also protects smaller birds and mammals from larger predators, who are unable to penetrate the thicker hedge, as well as providing a greater yield of berries creating an increased food source. The National Hedgelaying Society states that “hedges are important for our wildlife, environmental, heritage and scenic value. A well managed hedgerow is thick and bushy, an impenetrable barrier to sheep and cattle and a haven for wildlife”.

Joined by two very welcome new recruits, the Rustics spent the day braving the rain and doing a sterling job tackling the 17 year old hedges on 98 Land. They even managed to somehow get a bonfire going to burn any lateral growth and warm them up slightly!

The team powered on until after 1pm, when the hedge laying was finished off and numerous bundles of Osiers were cut and prepared for sale. Volunteers were then treated to hot buttery jacket potatoes and a much needed warm drink, kindly provided by Rachael Page.

We would like to thank the Rustics for their dedication on what was a very cold, wet day and extend our appreciation for their hard work. We very much appreciate all of the work carried out by them and would not be where we are without them!

If you are interested in joining the Rustics, we meet on the second Saturday of every month and are always looking for additional volunteers. Please contact us by email or by calling 01223 262999.

Brexit

Farming Post Brexit

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CRT Trustee, Robin Maynard, offers his take on the current Brexit situation…

The farming community overwhelmingly voted for Brexit – with polls conducted by Farmers’ Weekly, AgriChat and others consistently showing nearly 60% of farmers wanted to leave the EU, giving their reason as wanting to ‘take back control’.  With 55% of total farm income in the UK coming from the EU single farm payment and other agri-environmental support schemes, that majority vote suggests farmers believed that they could survive and thrive, producing goods for sale on the free-market without any such hand-outs.

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Facepainting at Lark Rise Festival

Lark Rise Festival of Farming, Food and Wildlife

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25th September 2016,  11am-4pm
Lark Rise Farm, Bird’s Farm, Haslingfiled Road, CB23 7AG

The Festival of Farming, Food and Wildlife has free entry and parking, and includes food demonstrations, various local food and craft stalls, a fruit crumble making competition, as well as sheep dog and Suffolk Punch demos, sheep shearing, tractor and trailer rides, farm walks, children’s activities (face painting, pond dipping, dough rolling, crafts and more!), BBQ and a refreshments tent. Read More

Cheque-presentation-GIS

Cambridge company shows support

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The Countryside Restoration Trust was very grateful to be the chosen recipients of a £500 donation, on Friday, from local company, Global Inkjet Systems.

GIS are a leading developer of industrial inkjet software, drive electronics, components and services, based not far from the CRT headquarters in Cambridge.

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Lark Rise Volunteers at work

Calling all Rustics!

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The Cambridge Rustics will once again be meeting on Saturday 13th at Bird’s Farm 9.30am and you are invited!

Our hardy volunteers will be given the choice of what they would like to help with, out of the following:

  • Clearing ivy and brambles from around the Barns at Warners Corner
  • Pulling up ragwort als at Warners Corner
  • Continuing the Balsam Battle!

All are welcome!

Please bring appropriate tools (some provided) and of course gloves, if you are able. A Ploughman’s lunch will be provided, so please us know if you are planning on attending and if you would like lunch by emailing info@countrysiderestorationtrust.com. Drinks etc provided as usual.

Hope to see you!