Wold Ecology

Head Farm HLS and North Cliff Marsh

In 2006, Wold Ecology conducted a detailed FEP on the Head Farm holding at Flamborough. Working alongside the RSPB, Wold Ecology formed an application team with the farmer. The high quality application produced by the team was successful in securing HLS funding and since 2006, the farm has been a focus of media attention and additional grants. In 2008, the farmer, Simon Waines, was runner-up in the regional RSPB Nature of Farming award.

The farm has many excellent habitats, including cliff-top maritime grassland that supports protected species such as a large population of Great Crested Newts and nesting Barn Owls. The following stewardship options enabled this profitable farm to integrate business with nature through:

  • Arable bird options: 3 hectares of wild bird cover crops and over-winter stubble.
  • Archaeological protection: arable reversion.
  • Boundary restoration: hedgerow planting.
  • Pond restoration: de-silting and grass buffer protection.

In winter 2007, the farm attracted one of the largest Corn Bunting flocks in Yorkshire, which fed on the over-winter bird crops. In 2009, in partnership with Flamborough Bird Observatory (FBO), the team built a bird hide and screen overlooking North Cliff Marsh, a valuable Biodiversity Action Plan grazing marsh. Wold Ecology manages the site in partnership with the farm and FBO, providing financial and project management support, supervision of contractors, surveys and practical management.

Head Farm farmer Simon Waines said, ‘I am very pleased with Wold Ecology. Their expertise and knowledge of the whole HLS process and continuing support and hard work on the farm has enabled us to improve habitats for wildlife and improve the sustainability of our business.’