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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Scrub clearance enhances floristic species richness on a green lane with restricted motorised vehicular access in Stanford Rivers, Essex, England

Published source details

Gardiner T. & Vaughan A. A. (2009) Scrub clearance enhances floristic species richness on a green lane with restricted motorised vehicular access in Stanford Rivers, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence, 6, 79-82

Summary

An experimental early-spring scrub clearance regime was introduced in 2008 to Coleman's Lane, a 'green lane' site (i.e. a double hedged, unsurfaced track) in Essex, southeast England, with the aim of increasing floristic species richness. A year after scrub clearance, floristic species richness was higher on both grassy verges either side (average 5.6 species/quadrat) and central track (4.3 species) of the green lane, compared with that recorded a year prior to clearance (4.2 and 2.8 species respectively). Plant species that especially benefited from scrub clearance included cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris and red dead nettle Lamium purpureum.  New species recorded in 2009 included bush vetch Vicia sepium, sweet violet Viola odorata and wood anemone Anemone nemorosa. There were substantial reductions in bramble Rubus fruticosus and cleavers Galium aparine achieved. Further clearance is planned for winter 2009-10, and subsequently on a 2-3 year rotation.