Study

Evaluation of the impact of the pilot UK Arable Stewardship Scheme on breeding and wintering birds

  • Published source details Bradbury R.B. & Allen D.S. (2003) Evaluation of the impact of the pilot UK Arable Stewardship Scheme on breeding and wintering birds. Bird Study, 50, 131-141.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures

    A 2003 replicated site comparison study of 102 fields across East Anglia and the West Midlands in the UK (Bradbury & Allen 2003), found that two years after the introduction of the Arable Stewardship Scheme there was no difference in the number of farmland bird species observed in winter on Arable Stewardship Scheme and non-Arable Stewardship Scheme fields. There were, however, significantly more seed-eating songbirds, wagtails, and pipits on fields participating in the scheme than on farms not participating in the scheme. A further survey of 98 fields in summer found that although there were significantly more northern lapwings, starlings, greenfinches and reed buntings on Arable Stewardship Scheme fields, there were also fewer woodpigeons Columba palumbus, sedge warblers Acrocephalus schoenobaenus and rooks Corvus frugilegus than on the non-Arable Stewardship Scheme fields. Fifty-four Arable Stewardship Schemes and 48 comparable non- Arable Stewardship Scheme fields were surveyed for farmland birds in both the winters of 1998/1999 and 1999/2000; 50 Arable Stewardship Schemes and 48 non- Arable Stewardship Scheme fields were surveyed in the summer months of 1999 and 2000. The seed-eating songbirds identified included 13 species of finches, buntings and sparrows; wagtails and pipits comprised three species.

  2. Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

    A replicated site comparison study of 102 sites across East Anglia and the West Midlands, UK (Bradbury & Allen 2003) found that two years after the introduction of the Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme (introduced in 1998) there was no difference in the number of farmland bird species observed in winter on Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme farms and non-scheme farms. There were, however, significantly more seed-eating songbirds, wagtails and pipits (Motacillidae) on farms participating in the scheme than on farms not participating in the scheme. A further survey of 98 fields in summer found that although there were significantly more northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus, common starling Sturnus vulgaris, greenfinch Carduelis chloris and reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus on Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme fields, there were also fewer woodpigeon Columba palumbus, sedge warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus and rook Corvus frugilegus than on the non-Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme farms. Fifty-four Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme and 48 comparable non- Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme farms were surveyed for farmland birds in both the winters of 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. Fifty Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme and 48 non-Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme  farms were surveyed in the summer months of 1999 and 2000. The seed-eating songbirds identified included 13 species of finches (Fringillidae), buntings (Emberizidae) and sparrows (Passeridae), while the wagtails and pipits comprised three species. This study was part of the same monitoring project as (Browne & Aebischer 2003, Bradbury et al. 2004, Stevens & Bradbury 2006).

     

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