Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Grasshopper strips prove effective in enhancing grasshopper abundance in Rivenhall Churchyard, Essex, England

Published source details

Gardiner T., Gardiner M. & Cooper N. (2011) Grasshopper strips prove effective in enhancing grasshopper abundance in Rivenhall Churchyard, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence, 8, 31-37

Summary

Grasshopper strips (alternate, 1-m wide strips of uncut and cut grassland) are a novel conservation feature in a rural churchyard in the village of Rivenhall (Essex), southeast England.  The effectiveness of these strips in enhancing the abundance of grasshoppers (Acrididae) was investigated during the summer of 2010 using sweep-net surveys.  Two grasshopper species were recorded.  The meadow grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus was significantly more abundant in the cut grasshopper strips than in nearby short grassland (control) plots regularly mown throughout the summer.  The field grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus was contrastingly more abundant in the uncut grasshopper strips than in the controls. The grasshopper strips appear to provide a mosaic of short and tall grassland in close proximity which is required for nymphs and adults of both C. parallelus and C. brunneus.