Useful websites

for sustainable farming

Regenerative Agriculture and Nature Friendly Farming

Agricology is a communication platform for sustainable agriculture. The website covers material from fields and farms, and a resource library with over 300 technical guides, articles, leaflets etc. They also have a great YouTube site covering lots of topics including herbal leys, agroforestry, cover crops and integrated pest management.

Great Soils
Practical information on soil management and links to soil research.

Championing the Farmed Environment
This website has a guidance and resources section which has recorded webinars and PDFs that cover a huge range of topics on sustainable farm management and wildlife.

The Groundswell YouTube channel has hundreds of videos from past years on all sorts of regenerative farming topics.

Innovative Farmers
A network for farmer-led research to collaborate on new research ideas, learn from in-field trials and access funding for research.

Nature Friendly Farming Network
This organisation was formed by a group of farmers who have come together to champion a way of farming which is sustainable and good for nature. The network is open to farmers and the public and is used to raise awareness of nature friendly farming, share experiences and work together for better policies for food and farming.

Oakbank Game and Conservation: Cover Crops
Oakbank has put together an excellent playlist on their YouTube channel focussing on presentations on cover crops by a huge range of speakers from around the world. They also have a regenerative agriculture section on their website with links to some excellent talks by Dr Christine Jones, Joel Williams and Nicole Masters.

Oxford Real Farming Conference
Their YouTube channel has recordings of previous years speakers with some fantastic talks from PFL,SA, Innovative Farmers and many more. There’s a long list so to get you started check out Warwickshire’s own Tom Tame talking about walnut production as a diversification on his farm.

Pasture For Life
PFL champions grazing animals on 100% pasture, helping to restore biodiversity and increase animal health and nutritional density of meat. Their YouTube channel has many useful videos covering a range of topics including case studies, agroforestry, direct marketing, the economics of species-rich meadows and the benefits of restoring floodplain meadows.

Their YouTube page has some interesting videos on sustainable food production including a comparison of heritage and conventional wheat yields and costs.

Royal Countryside Fund:
Carbon Clarity Guide.
Although the Carbon Clarity Programme is not running in this area, the guide has some useful insights into practical steps you can take to reduce your farm’s emissions and improve your business resilience.
Environment glossary – The Royal Countryside Fund
Break free from environmental jargon with the Prince’s Countryside Fund glossary of terms

Soil Association
The Soil Association’s webpage giving advice about low input farming practices has guides and information about herbal leys, cover crops, soil health, min-till, agroforestry and more which are transferable from organic practice to conventional farming. Their YouTube channel has videos on agroforestry, reducing wormer usage and mob grazing including a presentation by Rob Harvard on holistic grazing to boost farm health and productivity.

Integrated Soils
Hosted by Joel Williams, this website has some useful resources on soil health plus details of online courses.

Dr Jim Gerrish- Mob Grazing
In this You Tube video Jim talks about the many benefits to leaving residual grass after grazing a pasture including protecting and providing nutrients to the soil, increasing water holding capacity and allowing the grass to have an adequate recovery period.

Moredun Group
Watch this YouTube video for advice on collecting good quality faecal samples from sheep.

UK Farmer Group Discussion
The group’s aim is to promote open discussion within and between grass-roots local farming groups to enable farmers to debate and consider the big topics such as post-Brexit market conditions, future farming grants, food supply chain dynamics, public education, new technologies and much more.  An example of their newsletter is below.

UK Farmer Group Discussion November 2023 newsletter

Wildlife and Habitat Management

Advice on Ash Dieback
Ash Dieback: A Guide for Tree Owners – The Tree Council
A Farmer’s Guide to Ash Dieback – LEAF
There are useful guides to ash dieback. Signs of the disease include: leaves developing dark patches, turning black and eventually dying off; diamond shaped dark brown lesions on the trunk where a branch joins; new shoots dying off; and a new growth further down the trunk (a sign of stress). The “orange rust” on the tree trunk that is commonly associated with ash dieback is actually another fungus which in itself won’t kill the tree but is a signal of stress.

There is also funding available for groups of landowners that need to fell trees due to ash dieback. Please speak to your facilitator if you are interested in applying for this funding.

This link takes you to Buglife’s farming hub which has information on caring for pollinators on your farm including a guide on building your bee boxes for solitary bees. Buglife’s YouTube page also has some interesting videos including one from Warwickshire very own Steven Falk on dead wood invertebrate conservation.

Butterfly Conservation
Mike Slater from Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire has written a very good book on Warwickshire’s butterflies including habitat management and creation. Order the book here.

This Warwickshire Field Margin Assessment will help you carry out butterfly surveys on your land.
Field Margin Assessment.

Farm Wildlife
This website provides best practice guidance on how to help wildlife on farmland, developed by a partnership of some of the UK’s leading conservation organisations. Their YouTube channel also has case study videos from RSPB’s Hope Farm.

Habitat creation and management for pollinators 
This booklet, written by Marek Nowakowski and Richard Pywell, is the distillation of a 20 year research partnership and provides farmers with the best available advice on creating and managing habitats for bees.

Hedgerow management – People’s Trust for Endangered Species
The resources on this page will give you an understanding of the hedgerow life cycle together with useful tips for management and tools for assessing hedges to prioritise for management.

Merlin bird ID app
This is a really useful app with a sound ID function that can pick out bird songs and tell you which bird is singing. It’s great for swatting up on your bird ID skills while you’re out and about or for helping you undertake bird surveys on your land.

State of Nature Report
State of Nature Report 2023
The latest report has been released which includes an update on farmland wildlife.

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust – farmland habitats and their management
A summary of some of the most common habitats you might find in an agricultural landscape and some tips to consider when managing them.

Warwickshire Wildlife Groups
A list of links to local Warwickshire wildlife groups.

Woodland and Wildlife Toolkit
This website has some useful factsheets on managing woodlands for wildlife and advice on specific woodland species.

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