Attracting wild birds – At Turfonline we’re passionate about wild birds and their conservation. Which is why we’re working hard to support wild birds on our turf growing farms.
We’re very lucky that our turf growing farms are on prime agricultural land which supports a lot of different plants and animals. Our farms, in East Anglia and Northwest England grow a lot more than just turf.
There are hedgerows, road verges, woodland belts, waterways, reservoirs and food crops too. We also grow Meadowmat wildflower turf and Enviromat sedum matting. Both are products that attract and support wildlife.
Attracting wild birds – What do wild birds need?
Wild birds need the same as every other living creature:
- A safe place to rear their young
- Protection from predators
- Nearby colonies to keep the gene pool strong
Turfonline’s production and harvest teams are passionate about making sure that wild birds are well looked after on our farms.
Here are some of the conservation practices we’ve put into place:
Building next boxes for farm birds
Each winter our staff make nest boxes for many different species of birds.
Every year we put around 15 – 20 nest boxes on our various farms in Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Lancashire.
The boxes are made to the specifications recommended by the British Trust for Ornithology.
We have made various nest boxes this year for Barn Owls, Tawny Owls and small birds such as Blue Tits and Sparrows.
The box in the photograph has been up under an open barn, hopefully to attract Blue Tits or other small birds. By providing nest boxes we are hoping to look after our resident birds and help protect them from predators.
Growing field margins for farm birds
On some of our turf fields, we leave a space between the edge of the field and the edge of the crop. Mother Nature manages some of these gaps or field margins without our intervention. In others, we sow wildflower seeds that will help provide wild birds with forage.
We want the wildflower species to either
- attract and support insects that the wild birds eat
- set seed for birds that prefer to feast on seeds
- become habitat for mice and other small creatures needed by birds of prey
- provide shelter and perches
A range of wildlife habitats on our Norfolk farm: we have a field margin with longer vegetation, a belt of trees in the distance and to the right of the picture you can just make out a small wooded area.
Farming for the Future
Turfonline is the online division of Harrowden Turf Ltd. Harrowden Turf is a family enterprise. The Directors are hoping that once they retire, the business will be passed onto their children and continue to support future generations. To do that, we need to farm sustainably. And that means supporting the ecosystems that support us.