Really Wild Birdfood Co
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Combine Harvester Fire - Meon Valley Times

We had a very lucky escape on the evening of August 8th - when our combine harvester caught fire.

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Save 10% on your order when you select 'Collect from our farm' at the checkout!

Click and Collect gazebo

We're pleased to announce that our Click & Collect service is up and running once again. This means that, instead of paying for delivery, you can now come and collect your Really Wild Bird Food products in person - we'll even help you to load them into your vehicle!

You can pick up your order between 8.30am and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. As an added incentive, we'll take 10% off the cost of your purchase if you choose the Collect from our farm option when you check out.

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A swallow in flight

We've noticed a significant decline in the number of swallows with us this summer, and it seems we're not alone. Paul Stancliffe from the British Trust for Ornithology has said that the swallows are here, "but seem to be in much lower numbers than we would expect".

A summer without swallows feels somehow incomplete - so why are there so few swallows in the UK this year? As it turns out, there are a number of possible explanations.

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Harvest time is nearly upon us! For me, it is the most exciting and enjoyable time of the farming year; the culmination of a year's work for Richard. It can also be an anxious time; will it all go well? Will the weather stay dry and warm? Despite thorough servicing and a lot of pre-harvest preparation, a combine seems to be an unknown entity until it starts working! We had some mechanical trouble last year (and the year before!) so we are really hoping this year will run smoothly, and if we have some long, dry summer days with evenings like these (photos were taken last year), that will be much appreciated too.

Summer evenings

Cleaning jobs have been completed; the grain store, combine and grain trailers are all ready for action, and we have had a chance to do some painting and general maintenance around the farm.

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Fledgling bird on the ground

If you see a baby bird on the ground - all alone and seemingly abandoned by its parents - your first instinct may be to offer the fledgling a helping hand.

However, in most cases, you should not intervene. Yes, it's hard not to feel sorry for a young bird who appears to be struggling, but your attempt to assist may end up interfering with a critical stage of the fledgling's development. Birds have to learn to stand on their own two feet and fly on their own two wings!

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Bee on a sunflower

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has devastated the UK in many different ways. We've mourned tens of thousands of deaths. The country's GDP has fallen by more than 20 per cent. Unemployment has soared. Children have missed months of school, and families have been unable to spend time together.

But if all that bad news has made you desperate for a silver lining, here it is: the Great Lockdown of 2020 appears to have been quite beneficial for UK wildlife.

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These last few months have been very stressful for many people as we have had to adjust to dramatic lifestyle changes, some of which have been incredibly tough, and we are hoping that easier times are around the corner for us all.

Our farm crops are all suffering the stress of this long drought period, and they are all trying to save water the best way they can. The hot weather, combined with many days of really high winds has really reduced the relative humidity of the air. The wheat is showing significant 'leaf curl' - an ingenious way to reduce the plant surface area and hence evaporative loss but we are really hoping rain is on it's way. It is incredible to think that those are the same plants that survived drowning during the severe flooding we had in the Autumn! The real extremes of weather that seem to be becoming 'the norm' are certainly a challenge and no two years are ever the same.

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Pigeon

Pigeons are the bullies of many a back garden. They are significantly bigger than most garden birds, and they often use their size advantage to monopolise our seed feeders and hog all the food for themselves.

If you're tired of chasing pigeons away from your bird table, there are a number of steps you can take to deter them. Follow these helpful tips from the Really Wild Bird Food team...

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Garden hedgehog

It's currently Hedgehog Awareness Week (3rd - 9th May 2020), and if you're looking for ways to look after these spiny sweethearts, you're in the right place.

Hedgehogs are still a fairly common sight in the UK, but their numbers are thought to be declining. Life can be a bit dangerous for a garden hedgehog - every November, we're reminded to check for hedgehogs before lighting the Guy Fawkes Night bonfire, but why stop at that? There are plenty of other things you can do to make the world a friendlier place for these much-loved creatures.

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We left behind 6 months of the wettest weather ever and last week the ground was baked dry after all the amazing recent sunshine we have had. One extreme to the other!

Some of our wheat on the heavier clay drowned and died, but there isn't much we can do about that now; just nurture the surviving crops in the best way we can. Those who follow my news will know what a torrid time Richard was having with cabbage stem flea beetle attack on our oil seed rape. I can now show you the effect that a cabbage stem flea beetle infestation has on a rape crop!

Rape field after cabbage stem flea beetle attack

Our rape field after an attack

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