Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: A study of grasshopper populations in Countryside Stewardship Scheme field margins in Essex

Published source details

Gardiner T. & Hill J. (2005) A study of grasshopper populations in Countryside Stewardship Scheme field margins in Essex. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 18, 73-80


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields Farmland Conservation

A small-scale controlled study in 2000-2001 in Essex, UK (Gardiner & Hill 2005) found densities of lesser marsh grasshoppers Chorthippus albomarginatus (69% of all grasshoppers found) and meadow grasshoppers C. parallelus (31% of all grasshoppers found) in two Countryside Stewardship Scheme field margins (one margin naturally regenerated, one margin created from existing grass ley) were not statistically different than in intensively managed habitats (arable field, heavily grazed cattle and sheep pastures). Adult density of both grasshopper species was higher on lightly grazed pasture and a disused farm track than in either field margin. Grasshopper density was initially higher in the sown grass margin than the naturally regenerated margin or control grazed pasture three years after establishment (0.4, 0.1 and 0.3 grasshoppers/m2 respectively). Seven years into the 10-year agreement, grasshopper density had decreased in the sown and naturally regenerated margins (0.05 grasshoppers/m2) but increased substantially in the control grazed pasture (1.2 grasshoppers/m2). The authors suggested that annual cutting for hay was the reason for the reduced grasshopper populations in the margins. In each of nine study sites (two field margins, one arable field, one lightly grazed pasture, one heavily grazed cattle pasture, one heavily grazed sheep pasture, one hay meadow, one set-aside grassland, one disused farm track), 10 quadrats (2 x 2 m2) were randomly positioned in a 100m2 plot. Grasshoppers were counted in quadrats once in July and once in August (2000 and 2001).

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields Farmland Conservation

A small-scale controlled study in 2000-2001 in Essex, UK (Gardiner & Hill 2005) found densities of lesser marsh grasshoppers Chorthippus albomarginatus (69% of all grasshoppers found) and meadow grasshoppers C. parallelus (31% of all grasshoppers found) in two Countryside Stewardship Scheme field margins (one margin naturally regenerated, one margin created from existing grass ley) were not statistically different than in intensively managed habitats (arable field, heavily grazed cattle and sheep pastures). Adult density of both grasshopper species was higher on lightly grazed pasture and a disused farm track than in either field margin. Grasshopper density was initially higher in the sown grass margin than the naturally regenerated margin or control grazed pasture three years after establishment (0.4, 0.1 and 0.3 grasshoppers/m2 respectively). Seven years into the 10-year agreement, grasshopper density had decreased in the sown and naturally regenerated margins (0.05 grasshoppers/m2) but increased substantially in the control grazed pasture (1.2 grasshoppers/m2). The authors suggested that annual cutting for hay was the reason for the reduced grasshopper populations in the margins. In each of nine study sites (two field margins, one arable field, one lightly grazed pasture, one heavily grazed cattle pasture, one heavily grazed sheep pasture, one hay meadow, one set-aside grassland, one disused farm track), 10 quadrats (2 x 2 m2) were randomly positioned in a 100 m2 plot. Grasshoppers were counted in quadrats once in July and once in August (2000 and 2001).