A RURAL estate near Hartley Wintney has stepped up its support of wildlife.

The Elvetham Farm Partnership, based at the Elvetham Estate in Hartley Wintney, has signed up to be a corporate partner of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, whose Wildlife Investor scheme sees companies make annual contributions to support the work of the trust, in return for promotion.

Farming has been the core business on the estate for more than 350 years, producing wheat, barley and oilseed rape as well as keeping a herd of cattle.

Wildlife on the 1,000-acre farm includes the protected Dartford warbler and nightjar birds and hedgerow-nesting small mammals.

Alison Parr, of the Elvetham Estate, said: “We have chosen to become a Wildlife Investor as we are passionate about the local environment and the wildlife within it.

“We have already been working alongside the trust, most recently in our management of our Site of Special Scientific Interest at Yateley Heath. By partnering the trust, we aim to promote and further identify opportunities for wildlife on the Elvetham Estate and to pass on a natural world that is healthier and more vibrant to future generations.”

The estate is overseen by Sir Euan Calthorpe, an English baronet with a multi-million-pound property portfolio.