What we do Conservation competitions The Regional Barn Owl Competition The Barn Owl Award is FWAG SW’s flagship award to celebrate the best of farmland conservation and positive environmental practices across the six counties of the South West region. The winning farms from our four county competitions; the Gloucestershire Silver Pintail, the Devon Bronze Otter, the Cornwall Otter and the Somerset Otter, relaunching in 2019, will automatically be entered into the regional Barn Owl Competition. As Dorset and Wiltshire do not have county competitions, farmers in these counties can apply directly to be their county’s entry in the regional Barn Owl Trophy. The final decision as to who is the county’s entry will be made by local FWAG SouthWest advisers. How to enter? We encourage you to nominate yourself or you can put forward someone else. If you are a farmer that fancies your chances, or you know of a worthy farm that demonstrates good conservation practices alongside farming, then don’t wait… This direct application is open to farmers in Dorset and Wiltshire only. If you are nominating a farm for one of our County competitions, please visit this page. If you have any questions please contact us on [email protected] or call on 01823 660684. Timescale for the Barn Owl Award 2020 * Close of application 31st December 2020* Judging to take place March to June 2020* Results announced at a regional celebration event later in the year. Venue TBC (generally held at/near the winners farm and includes a farm walk/lunch). To find out more about any of the competitions, please call the FWAG SouthWest office on 01823 660684 or email us at [email protected]. Read more about our 2018 winner here. Read more about our 2017 winner here. Our Judges: Richard Belding started his career working for ADAS advising over time on land and estate management including field engineering, woodland, farm buildings, diversification, habitat creation, land restoration (after coal and mineral working) and conservation. As ADAS morphed into FRCA then RDS Richard became involved in ESAs running the South Wessex Downs ESA then moving onto Stewardship with Natural England managing a team in Dorset before retiring. Amongst his many interests he currently has a voluntary role with Butterfly Conservation advising on the acquisition and management of their reserves. He has been a judge of the FWAG Regional Barn Owl Competition for the last 7 years. Ruth Kimber is a born and bred farmer and has farmed all her life. Their 500-acre family run farm is a diary and mixed stock farm, which is part owned and part tenanted. Ruth was the Chairman of Somerset NFU for a number of years, where she also served on the National Diary Board for the NFU. She has set up and successfully runs their farm shop. Ruth likes to keep busy so has involved herself in numerous local community projects, committees and PTA for over 20 years! Hugh Warmington is an organic farmer, on the southern slopes of the Quantock Hills, this small traditional estate has been in the same family since 1792. Running from the deep red soils of Taunton Vale at 200ft to a heathland Site of Special Scientific Interest at 1,200 ft above sea level, with the steeper escarpment wooded, the farm was converted to organic production in 2008. The lower arable fields are worked on a seven year rotation of wheat, beans and oats followed by four years of a fertility building grass/clover/herbal ley. There is a small herd of Aberdeen Angus suckler cows, calved indoors in February to April. Six hundred ewes are lambed outside in April from the back of a quad bike.