Recording on farm species to help inform land management

Whitmuir Estate is a small (176 ha) Estate in the Scottish Borders just outside Selkirk. We have a mixed farm with let grazing and in hand arable. Holiday lets make use of some of the buildings on the Estate and help us with diversification when the future of agriculture is not straightforward.

We believe what sets us apart from most other farms and estates in Scotland is our program to record the Flora and Fauna to help inform land management. Our Farm has taken part in previous schemes like ESA, RSS and SRDP culminating in the current AECS. It has allowed us to build on many years of Agri-environment work. From early on we recognised that to be able to measure if we were making a difference, we needed to monitor species on the farm. With the help of many volunteers, local school children, organisations and paid experts. We now have recorded over 1400 species on our 176 ha farm. It has enabled us to target our AECS based on knowledge of where it will make the biggest impact. For example, we have recorded over 600 species of fungi and held training events for mycologists with help from RBGE and Kew using our holiday cottages, and created a Fungi park on calcareous grassland. It shows that combining volunteers from the community with European funding and farmer input can achieve for nature. We also regularly show what we do via social media: Facebook: Whitmuir Wildlife Twitter: @whitmuir1

Below are some of the numbers so far:

•93  Birds

•19  Mammals

•250   Moths (42 micro 208 macro)

•172  Flowering plants incl grasses

•  8   Ferns & Horsetails

•130   Lichen

•112   Mosses & Liverworts

659   Fungi

•1443 total species before adding woody plants , butterflies, snails etc