Deeping St Nicholas farm boosts wildlife protection by £1million

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A Deeping St Nicholas farm has helped wildlife conservation to the tune of £1 million.

Vine House Farm at Deeping St Nicholas has become one of the UK’s most successful wild bird-food businesses.

Since 2007 the farm has produced 13,000 tonnes of bird seed on more than 400 acres. It is also the largest grower of sunflowers in the UK.

Through a partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, five per cent of bird food sales are donated to Vine House Farm customers’ local Wildlife Trust.

Royalties will this month reach £1,000,000, supporting The Wildlife Trusts’ work to protect and restore areas for nature and inspire people to experience wildlife first-hand.

Chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts Stephanie Hilborne said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone thanks to a wonderful partnership with Vine House Farm.

“We are grateful to everyone who feeds the birds in their garden. Not only does it bring us joy but it makes a genuine difference to the success of the UK’s bird populations.”

Fourth generation farmer Nicholas has been working the land at Vine House Farm 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. His daughter Lucy and son-in-law Robert now manage the business.

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 increased ten-fold.