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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

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.

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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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!

Bere Marsh River

Bere Marsh Farm

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It is with great pleasure that we can announce, that following a long and arduous process, we have found an almost perfect farm in Dorset.

It has been quite a search, as the farm will be dedicated to the memory of CRT Founder-Trustee, Gordon Beningfield and therefore has to represent his passion for wildlife, the countryside and those that live and work within it.

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Turnastone Farmhouse

Turnastone Festival Cancelled

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We are sorry to announce that due to unforseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this year’s Festival of Farming, Food and Wildlife at Turnastone Court Farm, that was scheduled to take place on Sunday 26th June.

We are very disappointed and will ensure that we can secure a date as soon as possible, on which we can hold next year’s festival.

If you would like to receive information about forthcoming CRT events, please sign up to our e-newsletter by clicking here.

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Bird Watching

Join the Dawn Chorus

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Up with the Lark…? (or the wren, Lapwing dunnock, robin, blackbird, yellowhammer, chaffinch, linnet….)

Join Dr Vince Lea, our resident wildlife monitoring officer and bird expert, for a stroll round Lark Rise Farm, Barton, at the crack of dawn to hear the sublime sounds of the sunrise songsters!

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