Nature-friendly farming group helps wildlife across 28% of their land – an area the size of more than 6000 football pitches

Nature-friendly farming group helps wildlife across 28% of their land – an area the size of more than 6000 football pitches

• New report shows how tailor-made farm wildlife plans boost nature

• Poll of Jordans’ oat growers reveals increases in farm wildlife

• Endangered birds benefit such as grey partridge, lapwing and yellowhammer

A new report from The Wildlife Trusts reveals that nature-friendly farmers from the Jordan’s Farm Partnership have provided an area greater than Cambridge for farmland wildlife as part of their efforts to boost nature’s recovery. The group of over 30 cereal farmers are proving that commercial agriculture can flourish while also restoring nature.

Between 2020 and 2021 Jordan’s oat growers collectively farmed 15,000 hectares of countryside, of which over 4,200 hectares (28%) is managed for wildlife to support nature’s recovery, with the help of tailor-made farm wildlife plans devised by Wildlife Trust advisers.

These plans assist farmers in their efforts to improve and increase the wildlife habitats on their farms, such as ponds, hedgerows and wilder field edges, helping to give a boost to endangered species such as lapwing, grey partridge and yellowhammer. A host of other wildlife benefits too – from pollinators to brown hare and barn owl.

Wild flower borders


Joan Edwards, director of policy and public affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, and nature-friendly farming has a vital role to play in tackling the nature and climate crisis. It’s fantastic to see how growers in the Jordans Farm Partnership are making a huge difference to nature’s recovery.

“These inspirational farmers demonstrate that we don’t have to settle for either commercial cereal growing or restoring nature – they show how farms can actively help wildlife thrive once more. By restoring wild features such as wildflower meadows, waterways and hedgerows, farmers are providing homes for bees, birds and butterflies and a wealth of other species.”

In a recent poll of Jordans growers, 100% of responding farmers said they had seen a noticeable increase in wildlife on their farms since joining the partnership. Farmers reported a visible increase in a range of species from brown hares to pollinators through to endangered species such as grey partridge, lapwing and yellowhammer. Many of the farmers reported seeing species for the first time ever after creating or extending habitats such as barn owls, bullfinches, and otters. Others have had species such as honey buzzards visit for the first time since joining the group.

Sir Michael Colman owns Malshanger farm in Hampshire and has been a member of the Jordan’s Partnership Programme (JFP) since it started. Since joining he has added to and increased the wildlife habitats on his farm such as wildflower margins and has been delighted to have attracted more birds such as goshawk, stone curlew and barn owl.

Brown hare

(c)  David Tipling 2020 Vision

Sir Michael Colman says:

“It is wonderful to see wildlife increasing on my farm – this year a goshawk was seen over our woodland for the first time. The JFP project has given advice on practical and achievable conservation improvements that can be made to existing habitats, as well as suggestions on new habitats we can create for wildlife.

After we spotted stone curlews on my estate, my JFP farm advisor put me in touch with a local monitoring scheme which recorded a successful breeding pair in 2021 – another ‘first’ our farm has achieved since joining the partnership.”

Each of the 35 farms in the Jordan’s partnership works with an expert advisor from their local Wildlife Trust and has a bespoke plan to support wildlife, focusing on key species and habitats which are important to the farm’s local landscape. Between 2020 and 2021 JFP farmers have managed 897 hectares of woodland, 120 ponds, 722km of hedgerows, 138km of waterways and 476 hectares of field margins.

Polly Rattue, Sustainability Senior Brand Manager from Jordans says:

“Not only do these plans support nature on the farm, but they also help connect habitats and create networks for wildlife to move more easily throughout the wider landscape. Our farmers are passionate about wildlife, and we are proud to support the Wildlife Trusts’ work to restore our natural world.”

Notes to editors

Jordans Farm Partnership/The Wildlife Trusts’ impact report 2020/2021

Read the report here. Farmers in the Jordans Farm Partnership manage more than 4,200 hectares of habitat to support wildlife. Advisors from 15 different Wildlife Trusts work closely with the 35 Jordans farmers throughout the UK. Collectively, 15,000 hectares of countryside are farmed in the JFP, and every single farmer is passionate about wildlife. They are committed to protecting and managing an area equal to at least 10% of their farmed land for wildlife — a core principle of the Jordans Farm Partnership. This industry-leading standard for land management has been developed in partnership between The Wildlife Trusts and Jordans. The Jordans Farm Partnership is a partnership between Jordans, The Wildlife Trusts, the Princes Countryside Fund and LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). See 

Poll of Jordans Farm Partnership

The poll conducted in Dec 2021. Over 40% of farmers responded with details of species which had seen a noticeable increase on their farms. All reported seeing an increase in wildlife since joining the partnership.


Collated responses from 16 farmers

Have you had a ’first’?  Have you had a species recorded on you farm for the first time ever since joining JFP?

Goshawk, butterfly orchid, little egret, long-eared owl, tree creeper, red deer, honey buzzard, pygmy shrew, 10 species of bat, brown argos and Essex skipper butterflies, barn owl, lapwing, marsh foxtail, solitary bee species, wheatear, tree sparrow, and scarce emerald damselfly.

Since joining the JFP, have you had species return to your farm that had been absent for the past 10 years? 


Nesting stone curlew, lapwing, owls (including barn owl), hare, small farmland birds, otter, crucian carp, and bullfinch.

Since joining the JFP have you created new types of wildlife habitats on your farm which didn’t previously exist on your farm?

Ponds, wildflower margins / meadows, enhanced wildlife corridors, field margins, wild bird cover, new woodlands, grass margins, bare areas for solitary bees, nest boxes, arable weed areas, and scrub habitats.


Have you seen a noticeable increase in wildlife on your farm since you joined the JFP?

100% replied yes

Which two animal species/groups of species have you seen a noticeable increase on your farm since joining the JFP?

Barn owl, lapwing, bees and pollinating insects, small farmland birds, brown hare, grey partridge, yellowhammer, stone curlew, linnet, finches, wood pigeon, buzzard, kestrel, tawny owl, jay, teal, red kite, and sparrowhawk.


Which two animal species/group of species have you seen a noticeable increase over the last year?

Small farmland birds, brown hare, bees and pollinating insects, grey partridge, barn owl, and lapwing.

Which wildlife friendly habitats do you have on your farm?

Hedgerows, woodland, wild birdseed plots, pollen and nectar plots, wildflower margins, ponds, waterways, bare areas for ground nesting birds, and scrub habitats.

Which habitats on your farm have been most successful at attracting wildlife?

Seed producing mixtures for overwintering birds, pollen and nectar mixes, wild birdseed plots, thick uncut hedges, wild bird cover, grassland, wildflowers, hedgerows, and scrub.



All JFP farms are also members of LEAF Marque, a farm assurance system which promotes food grown sustainably with care for the environment. Farms also work towards conserving and creating healthy soil.

The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts are making the world wilder and helping to ensure that is nature is part of everyone’s lives. We are a grassroots movement of 46 charities with more than 850,000 members and 38,000 volunteers. No matter where you are in Britain, there is a Wildlife Trust inspiring people and saving, protecting, and standing up for the natural world. With the support of our members, we care for and restore special places for nature on land and run marine conservation projects and collect vital data on the state of our seas. Every Wildlife Trust works within its local community to inspire people to create a wilder future – from advising thousands of landowners on how to manage their land to benefit wildlife, to connecting hundreds of thousands of school children with nature every year.