The theme of the 2018 Silver Pintail Award is Small Mammals
This year our judges will be keeping a special eye out for farms which have been helping some of our more secretive wildlife species such as hazel dormice, hedgehogs, bats, harvest mice and water voles. The most important element of supporting healthy populations of small mammals is providing diversity and good quality habitat on the farm such as rough grassland, hedgerows and hedgerow trees, ponds, a network of field margins, and sensitive management of bankside vegetation along ditches and streams. Likewise, the chances are that if you have healthy populations and diverse species of small mammals on the farm you will also be supporting a wide range of other wildlife!
Small mammals can sometimes be overlooked but are very important in the food chain, for example field voles are the favourite food source of barn owls, one of the most iconic farmland bird species. Increasingly dormice are being found in a much wider range of habitats such as recently planted and coniferous woodland and hedgerows. Now that we know dormice are not so restricted by habitat why not have a look to see if they are present on your farm?
The number of hares in the Cotswolds has also greatly increased in recent years, due in part to the diversity of habitats that have been created through Environmental Stewardship agreements. Are your management practices helping their numbers to recover? We are all more aware that bats need linear features such as hedgerows for navigation and suitable buildings and veteran trees for roost sites. Do you have suitable sites for bats roost on your farm or nearby, or have a fantastic network of hedges and rough grassland supporting bats and other small mammals?
We would love to hear from you so please get in touch!
Please either return a scanned copy of your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org, or printed and posted to:
Chelston Business Park
Contact the Gloucestershire Office 01666 503668 or the FWAG SW office 01823 660684 for more details on any aspect of the Silver Pintail Award.
Timescale for the competition:
* Close of application 31st March 2018
* Judging to take place from April – July
* Results announced at an event later in the year. Venue TBC
The winner of the Silver Pintail for 2018 will go through to represent the county in the regional Barn Owl Awards in 2019, the winner of which goes forward as our regions entry into the National Silver Lapwing for 2020.