16th November 2007 a Common Buzzard was seen and recorded in Westhorpe. This caused great excitement as a new bird for our farm list (which now stands at 90 since the commencement of our HLS scheme) but was not thought of as anything other than a fortunate visit however, a pair spotted on the 2nd April above our woodland with the breeding season approaching gave rise to the hope that they might be a pair searching for territory. Sightings started to become more regular and by August although I had no firm evidence I was fairly confident that they had bred and then towards the end of August I was able to watch an adult repeatedly dropping into the wood followed by a juvenile in what looked like a flying and hunting lesson. As we still did not really know how many had fledged or where the nest was this was a challenge I set my self for the following year. It became apparent that this pair was resident during the winter and spring as they could be seen most days including guest appearances on a number of farm walks and educational visits and even our postman had confessed to going home and looking up buzzards in his bird book as he had seen them so often.
- The Barker Boys
- Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.