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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage hedges to benefit bats Bat Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One study evaluated the effects of managing hedges to benefit bat populations. The study was in the UK.



  • Abundance (1 study): One replicated, paired sites study in the UK found that pipistrelle activity (relative abundance) did not differ between hedges managed for wildlife on agri-environment scheme farms and hedges on conventional farms.


Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, paired sites study in 2008 on 13 pairs of farms in Scotland, UK (Fuentes-Montemayor et al 2011) found that hedges managed for wildlife on agri-environment scheme farms had similar activity of Pipistrellus species as hedges on conventional farms. The activity of common pipistrelles Pipistrellus pipistrellus and soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus was similar along hedges managed for wildlife and along conventionally managed hedges (data reported as statistical model results). On agri-environment scheme farms, hedges had gaps filled, hedge bottoms were left unmown, and pesticide use and cutting was restricted (cut once every three years). Each of 13 hedges on agri-environment scheme farms were paired with 13 hedges on conventional farms with similar farming activities and surrounding habitats. No details are reported about the management of hedges on conventional farms. Each of 13 paired sites was sampled once on the same night in June–September 2008. Bat activity was recorded along transects (2.5–3.7 km long) from 45 minutes after sunset using bat detectors.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Berthinussen, A., Richardson O.C. and Altringham J.D. (2019) Bat Conservation. Pages 67-140 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.