The 400 acres that makes up Lark Rise Farm all began with the purchase of one small field thanks to donations following an article in The Telegraph in 1993 by CRT founder Robin Page. It has grown considerably over the years and has been given a Redlist Revival Award for 'Highest Density of Grey Partridge’. In addition, we have many other Redlist species of conservation concern including song thrush, yellowhammer, linnet and – as the farm's name would suggest – an abundance of skylarks.
In the summer months, the fields are awash with colour. High numbers of butterfly species feed on the wealth of wildflowers and it is hard to believe how close we are to the city of Cambridge and the busy M11 motorway.
Together with volunteers and wildlife monitors, tenant farmer Tim Scott has used a wide variety of sensitive farming methods to transform the fields from an intensively farmed wildlife desert into a productive farm that teems with wildlife. Tim Scott also works with Syngenta, trialling innovative sprays to produce high crop yields without affecting the flora and fauna.
Keep your eyes open for breeding birds that are considered rare, such as barn owls, farmland flowers including bee orchids, brown hares – they’re everywhere – and signs of water voles in the brook.
All these species are here as a result of wildlife-friendly farming methods such as smaller field sizes, crop rotation, leaving over-wintering stubble, beetle banks, wildlife strips, waterway maintenance and the planting of over 4.5 miles of new hedgerows, with the aid of numerous volunteers.