In partnership with

WildCare 

WildCare is a unique retailer led initiative that delivers enhanced plant and wildlife habitat provision on the dairy farms producing Waitrose essential milk and cream.

Requiring farmers to dedicate a minimum 10% of their farm holding to the initiative, the scheme is delivering striking results for birds, butterflies, mammals, pond and plant life. Meanwhile, agricultural production remains central to each of the farms involved.

To date, an impressive 2,500 hectares throughout the UK is covered by the scheme, which operates on 60 Waitrose Dairy Farms.

The red-listed yellowhammer is one species which has now been sighted on all the farms, hare numbers have doubled since the scheme began, and orchids have been recorded on a quarter of all the farms.

 

Read more... 

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On the farm this month

May is a peak month for meadow flowers and orchids. The last of the summer migrants will also arrive, including the painted lady butterfly from North Africa.

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Pic of the Month

Early purple orchid

The early purple orchid flowers from early April until early June. It is found throughout the British Isles, and is locally common and even abundant in some locations.

It grows in both grassland and well lit woodland, particularly on calcareous soils. The early purple orchid requires permanent 'unimproved' pasture or traditionally managed woodland. It will not survive ploughing or heavy grazing.