From homegrown bird seed to saving bees on Channel 4 - how two sisters in the Harborough district are creating a buzz

Presented by Jimmy Doherty, the series, called ‘Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue’, airs on Saturday August 29 at 8pm on C4

Saturday, 29th August 2020, 3:03 pm
Fay and Abigail Johnson with TV presenter Jimmy Doherty.

When Fay and Abigail Johnson returned to the family farm in Great Easton after university, they had no idea the changes they were going to make would end up being featured in a Channel 4 TV series.

The sisters embraced their passion for nature at Rectory Farm in the Harborough district, creating new habitats and feeding areas.

This passion for conservation, and farming around Eyebrook Reservoir in Leicestershire, gave them the idea to diversify into creating bird seed mixes using seed grown on the farm, which they began to sell locally.

Fast forward some years and with six children between them, Rectory Farm and business Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds is now being featured in a forthcoming Channel 4 series exploring how the whole nation can save bees.

Presented by Jimmy Doherty, the series, called ‘Jimmy’s Big Bee Rescue’, airs on Saturday August 29 at 8pm on C4, features Fay assessing their farming practices to see how they can boost bee numbers.

Over a period of 12 months, the sisters have worked together with Jimmy and examined how they could best encourage more bees whilst maintaining the farm. Wildflower strips have been planted providing a beautiful range of pollen and nectar rich flower species for the bees to glean.

Fay said: “We have been proud custodians of the land at Rectory Farm which has been managed by us for three generations.

"As a traditional family farm, we use the best of modern and traditional agricultural practices creating a more sympathetic environment for birds, insects and wild animals.

"A thriving countryside and food production go hand in hand, and a healthy bee population is crucial on the farm as we rely on them to pollinate the crops. We loved working with Jimmy and learning how we could improve the farm to benefit what is a little eco-warrior, the bee! Our customers can now be further reassured they are helping us to maintain our sustainable farming practices when they buy our home-grown bird seed mixes.”

To celebrate being featured on C4, Eyebrook Wild Bird Feeds is delighted to offer its customers a selection of Beefayre products, which are now being sold via its website. Beefayre is a Leicestershire-based beauty, home fragrance and homewares brand who donates a percentage of its profits to bee conservation.