Inspirational farmer wins second Silver Lapwing Award

Wednesday 2nd November 2011

Vine House FarmVine House Farm

Nicholas Watts MBE has won the top prize in the ‘Oscars’ of conservation awards for the second time, a first in the Silver Lapwing Awards 34-year history.

Adam Henson, farmer and BBC broadcaster, presented Nicholas with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group’s (FWAG’s) Silver Lapwing Trophy and a cheque for £1,000 at a ceremony held at the House of Commons. 

The Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group’s Silver Lapwing Award is awarded annually to farmers who go above and beyond in their quest to farm sensitively and sustainably. It is aimed at farmers and landowners who demonstrate outstanding commitment to good environmental practices. It rewards land managers who can show a three year track record of good practice in a commercially successful farming enterprise. This year the award was sponsored by Waitrose in association with Coombe Farm.

Jim Egan, one of the Silver Lapwing judges and FWAG's Technical Director said: "The FWAG Silver Lapwing Award is all about long term commitment to farmland conservation and Nicholas Watts epitomises this Award. Since first winning the Award ten years ago Nicholas has continued to carry out extensive conservation work which has contributed to the survival of many bird species in the Fens."

Nicholas Watts, owner of Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire, has spent his life dedicated to conserving wildlife and has led the way in wildlife-friendly farming. He said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award again.”

Vine House Farm works in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, donating five percent of the proceeds from its bird seed sales to the conservation organisation. These funds are vital in helping The Wildlife Trusts achieve their vision of a future rich in wildlife for everyone. Michael Power, Honorary Treasurer of The Wildlife Trusts, was present at the ceremony. Michael said: “Nicholas’ achievements are to be applauded - the future of wildlife in the UK depends on people like him. It’s about all landowners understanding how important the natural environment is, and working to protect it. Nicholas channels an astounding amount of passion and commitment to doing just that.”

A very proud Mrs Anne Watts said “I am so pleased Nicholas has been recognised again for all the time and energy dedicated to wildlife conservation.”