All this hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. In 2011, the project was awarded the coveted Jas Martin Lincolnshire Grey Partridge Award. This was followed by a joint Bronze recognition in the 2014 Purdey Awards, for which the judging panel described the farm as “a haven where grey partridges are flourishing”.
A peak of thirty pairs of grey partridges was recorded in the 2012 spring count. The dreadful summer of that year unfortunately caused a decline in numbers, but they are on the increase again; by the spring of 2014, twenty pairs were counted.
If this summer is kind, Mr Needham’s ongoing efforts should be rewarded with the ultimate prize: a healthy and growing population of one of the finest farmland health indicators there are – the wild grey partridge.