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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effectiveness of cultivated strips adjacent to, or distant from hedgerows as foraging areas for British farmland birds in winter

Published source details

Boatman N.D., Stoate C., Henderson I.G., Vickery J.A, Thompson P.G.L. & Bence S.L. (2003) Designing crop/plant mixtures to provide food for seed-eating farmland birds in winter. BTO Research report no. 339. (added by: Stewart F.R. 2006). Designing crop/plant mixtures to provide food for seed-eating farmland birds in winter


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

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Bird Conservation

A replicated, randomised, controlled study over the winters of 1998-2001 in 192 sites on 161 arable farms across England (Boatman et al. 2003) found that, of all the wild bird cover crops trialled, kale (Brassica spp.) was used by the widest range of species. Overall, all species analysed exhibited higher densities on wild bird cover crops over conventional crops except Eurasian skylarks, which preferred cereal stubbles. Although all species showed non-random and different wild bird cover crop preferences, kale was preferred by the greatest number of species. Additionally, bird abundance was significantly greater on wild bird cover crops located adjacent to hedgerows than those located midfield. Ten annual crops and four biennial crops were planted each year at each site with three replicates/crop. At 11 and 13 sites for 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 respectively strips containing the same crop were grown in pairs, one against a hedgerow and one infield, to determine location preference.

 

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture Farmland Conservation

A replicated, randomized, controlled study over the winters of 1998-2001 on 161 arable farms across England (Boatman et al. 2003) (same study as (Henderson et al. 2004)) found that, overall, all bird species analysed exhibited higher densities on wild bird cover crops than on conventional crops except Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis, which preferred cereal stubbles. Although all species showed non-random and different wild bird cover crop preferences, kale Brassica spp. was preferred by the greatest number of species. Additionally, bird abundance was significantly greater on wild bird cover crops located adjacent to hedgerows than those located midfield. Ten annual crops and four biennial crops were planted each year at each of 192 sites with 3 replicates/crop. At 11 and 13 sites in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 respectively, strips containing the same crop were grown in pairs, one against a hedgerow and one infield, to determine location preference.