Braydon Forest Future Association
Meeting 30 March 2021 - during which we discussed creating habitat for Marsh Fritillary butterflies, and the governments new sustainable farming incentive. We agreed to focus on the Braydon Forest hedgerows. The minutes can be read here.
Meanwhile please keep recording the wildlife you see and send details to: jonathonC@wiltshirewildlife.org
Update from Sophie Scruton and Jonny Cooper
Survey December 2020
Thank you so much for returning the survey, it produced an excellent, informative and enthusiastic response.
- The majority of farms are all grassland.
- The biggest change has been the huge increase in speed / technology i.e. farm mechanisation. The majority of farms have changed from dairy to beef herds. Three diary farms switched to organic 20 years ago.
- There is caution about taking grants and subsidies as they come with constraints.
- Every farmer supports nature friendly farming.
- Many have already created habitat in quite substantial amounts.
- Everyone is willing to conserve wildlife and most people see the hedgerows and ponds as particularly good habitats.
- Everyone is willing to record wildlife
- There is recognition of Braydon Forest being a distinctive landscape and upset when it gets broken up.
- Working together and supporting each other is hoped for.
- The majority of farms are producing food in the form of beef, lamb and dairy; everyone thinks they are producing food as efficiently as they can and that the public is price conscious. Although there is not a great demand for selling direct to the customer, there is enthusiasm for developing a Braydon Forest label that is a guarantee of good welfare and good conservation.
- Wildlife observed in the landscape of oak trees and hedgerows include: barn owls, tawny owls, bats, newts, frogs, toads, hares, green hairstreak butterfly, swallows, fieldfares, kingfisher. Regret for loss of curlews. One observer from Murcott mentions that bird species have declined as the area lost its dairy farms.
- People had good ideas about goals for the Braydon Forest Future Association and a range of the comments have been shared amongst the group.