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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Manage the agricultural landscape to enhance floral resources Farmland Conservation

Key messages

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  • One large replicated controlled trial showed that the average abundance of long-tongued bumblebees on field margins was positively correlated with the number of ‘pollen and nectar’ agri-environment agreements in a 10 km grid square.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated controlled trial in 2004 in thirty-two 10 km grid squares across England (Pywell et al. 2006) found the abundance of long-tongued bumblebees Bombus spp., mostly common carder bee B. pascuorum and garden bumblebee B. hortorum, recorded on trial field margins (various planting treatments, including sown grass and wildflower margins) was positively correlated with the total number of pollen and nectar mix agri-environment agreements in each 10 km square. There is no record of the numbers of long-tongued bumblebees in these grid squares before the agreements were implemented. Bumblebees were counted on a 100 x 6 m transect in each of 151 field margins, once in July and once in August.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Dicks, L.V., Ashpole, J.E., Dänhardt, J., James, K., Jönsson, A., Randall, N., Showler, D.A., Smith, R.K., Turpie, S., Williams D.R. & Sutherland, W.J. (2019) Farmland Conservation Pages 291-330 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.