SBS Chairman, Robert Middleditch

Robert farms in Suffolk.  All of his farmland is classified as high value for farmland birds by the British Trust for Ornithology due to the small field sizes, the large number of ancient hedgerows and numerous woods coupled with areas of marshland. All the land is in various agri-environment schemes.

One block of land is the subject of a long-term SBS study, and has been subject to yearly bird counts since entering the agri-environment schemes in 2002. It has witnessed a 20% decline in breeding territories in the period 2002-2012.  This decline is in line with national statistics and reinforces the opinion of many leading ecologists that agri-environment schemes are not delivering on increasing the farmland bird populations.

Robert was a founder director of the Forum for Sustainable Farming. He has participated in Unilever’s sustainable farming project, Sustainable Arable Farming for an Improved Environment (SAFFIE) and the Farmers for Nature project.