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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.


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On the farm this month

November sees an influx of over-wintering birds that will search farmland for food sources. Waders and waterfowl may also be seen in good numbers, with most species of ducks now in breeding plumage.

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Pic of the Month

Tree sparrow

According to the RSPB, the UK tree sparrow population has suffered a severe decline, estimated at 93 per cent between 1970 and 2008.The main populations are now found across the Midlands, southern and eastern England. Tree sparrows are almost absent from the South West, Wales and the North West.

Look out for the tree sparrow’s chestnut brown head and nape, white cheeks and collar, they can be seen in hedgerows and woodland edges.