Back in 2007, The Wildlife Trusts started working together in partnership with Vine House Farm Bird Foods, helping to protect and restore areas for nature and inspire people to experience wildlife first-hand. Vine House Farm has contributed to this effort by donating up to 5% of its bird food sales, which currently stands at over £1.25million. What makes this partnership so dynamic is that the company’s founder and owner, Nicholas Watts, is very much driven by a philosophy of nature conservation and method of wildlife-friendly farming.
Nicholas Watts MBE, said: “Farming this way is a way of life for us and it brings about great pleasure to see wildlife thriving. I have always enjoyed feeding birds and now I am feeding more than I could ever have imagined with the help of our customers!”
Fourth-generation farmer Nicholas has been working the land at Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, since he was a boy. His bird watching hobby became part of his work in 1992, leading to an MBE for his wildlife conservation work and wildlife- friendly farm management, and many other awards. Over the last 20 years, thanks to wildlife-friendly measures put in place at the farm, barn owl and whitethroat numbers have quadrupled, and tree sparrow and lapwing numbers have increased ten-fold.
Vine House Farm is one of the UK’s most successful wild bird food businesses. In addition to sunflowers, Vine House Farm grows 240 acres of red millet, white millet, naked oats, oil seed rape and canary seed, all of which are delivered directly to customers across UK, through their mail order business, from the family-run farm. Nicholas’ daughter Lucy and son-in-law Robert now manage the business and 2,500 acre farm, which also grows potatoes and sugar beet.
So we'd like to share their newsletter with you so that you can see all the good work they're getting up to and stock up on your bird feed.