Rob Jones, Sherborne Farm

Sheep and lambs on the Sherborne Park Estate

Farmer Rob Jones is hosting the Springwatch team at his farm in the heart of Sherborne Old Park. Dad-of-four Rob, 52, has been farming on the Cotswolds estate for 25 years.

Describe Home Farm

We have got around 800 acres. There used to be a dairy farm here, but we stopped dairying in 2012. We now run around a thousand ewes on the parkland and water meadows, as well as having about 350 acres of arable.

It’s an incredibly beautiful area of the country – very peaceful.

What do you do for wildlife on the farm?

We’ve been here since 1993. When we applied for the tenancy the National Trust did quite a lot of work on re-letting the farm. A Farm and Environment plan was drawn up which was quite a ground-breaking thing at the time.

It listed all the different aspects of the farm – from the archaeology through to entomology. Everything from the location of an ancient Romano-British settlement to rare red data book species of beetles.

We’re now in a Higher Level Stewardship scheme. We’ve got water voles on our water meadows, so there are prescriptions in our agreement with Natural England to manage the river bank for the voles – cutting at certain times and keeping stock off the Water Meadows at certain times of the year for breeding waders.

What's the best thing about being a farmer?

It’s a lifestyle. You’re working in an incredible environment where you’re your own boss.

And the worst?

It's a very challenging farm to manage, abiding by all the various prescriptions set out in the tenancy agreement.

How have you found having Springwatch on the farm?

It’s been interesting. I was just out with the nature producer. They’re going to put a camera in the nesting box to film the barn owls in our barn.