This year the much-anticipated Gloucestershire FWAG Silver Pintail Awards were kindly hosted by The Earl and Countess Bathurst at the Mansion, Cirencester Park. Over 80 farmers, FWAG members, staff and supporters gathered on the 15th November to celebrate a joint commitment to sustainable agricultural practices and wildlife protection in Gloucestershire.

The Silver Pintail award evening was also an opportunity for the Farmer Guardians of the Upper Thames to meet together socially and celebrate the achievements of the year. For more information on this Facilitation Fund group, please contact Jenny Phelps ([email protected]).

Attendees were warmly welcomed by Lord and Lady Bathurst, followed by an update from Jenny Phelps on Gloucestershire FWAG’s many projects and growing team.

This year the theme of the Silver Pintail Awards was “farming for small mammals.” Small mammals (shrews, voles, mice and dormice) provide services such as pest and weed predation, while also fulfilling roles in the middle of food chains, feeding predators such as barn owls. FWAG SouthWest’s Thomas Mansfield delivered a brilliant talk about the small mammals found on farms and how to encourage healthy populations. Thomas pointed out that well connected edges and successional habitats are key to small mammal conservation and how these can be achieved through management changes and stewardship options.

Judges Richard Appleton and Robin Nicol then presented the key farm features of the finalists; Clive and Lydia Handy of Lower Hampen Farm and Robert and Lynne Jackson of Manor Farm, both of whom work tirelessly to farm sustainably for wildlife, ensuring a difficult decision for the judges this year! The winner was then announced as Robert and Lynne Jackson. Robert and Lynne farm approximately 500 acres of combinable crops, grassland, woodland, pollen and bird mixtures, incorporating recreated Cotswold limestone grassland, wild bird mixes and cover, field margins, dew ponds, rainwater harvesting  and many other measures that benefit wildlife. As winners of the Silver Pintail Awards 2018, Robert and Lynne will go through to represent the county in the regional Barn Owl Awards in 2019, the winner of which goes forward as our regional entry into the National Silver Lapwing for 2020.

Robert Jackson said “we were delighted to be awarded the Pintail trophy in recognition of the conservation work we do on our farm”.

Celebrations continued with delicious Pasture For Life beef stew, along with cider and apple juice from last year’s Silver Pintail finalists, Day’s Cottage Orchards. It was fantastic to see old and new faces and celebrate the dedication of FWAG SouthWest members making space for wildlife on their farms.

A huge thank you to the Earl and Countess Bathurst for welcoming us into the mansion for the evening, to Thomas for a brilliant talk, Richard and Robin for taking on the burden of judging between two excellent finalists and to Robert and Lynne and Clive and Lydia for putting in all the hard work on their farms.

Next year will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Silver Pintail Awards. If you are interested in entering or nominating a farm, or would like anymore information, you can take a look at the Silver Pintail page here.


The Winners Lynne and Robert Jackson with Lord Bathurst, Richard Appleton and Robin Nicol


Silver Pintail Winner 2018, Robert Jackson at his farm, Manor Farm



An incredibly impressive field of arable reversion at Manor Farm