Farming is so often romanticised in modern culture, and yet it is first and foremost an industry. The difference that sometimes obscures this fact is that we either live on "the factory floor" or pass through it regularly. Of course, part of the success of agricultural businesses is tied up with the wildlife that happens to live on the factory floor and scavenges or hunts there. We should not under-estimate how critical the linkages are, nor should we suffer illusions about the importance of how agriculture shapes and manages a very large part off what we call "countryside".
Farmland covers approximately three quarters of the United Kingdom and has historically provided a wide range of habitats for wildlife. Many British species have adapted to living in a farmed landscape. So, efforts to conserve wildlife are often concentrated within managed ecosystems. Much of the wildlife that inhabits farmland has declined over recent decades for a number of reasons, including historic farming methods - use of DDT, 'prairie style' farms without hedgerows, housing and industrial developments, roads, light pollution, atmospheric pollution, climate change, tidy gardens with solid fence panels, removal of ancient woodlands, and so on. The reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy has presented an opportunity for farmers to be rewarded for protecting wildlife.
Farms have also diversified to attract tourists to the countryside - hop farms, holiday lets, animal experiences, blossom trails, and so on.
The Society has developed dedicated pages to record events and research into our wildlife (bats, gardening, etc) and environmentally sensitive farming.
See also the Links Page for "The Natural World" (top of the left-hand column of this page)