Study

Conservation of lowland semi-natural grasslands in the UK: a review of botanical monitoring results from agri-environment schemes

  • Published source details Critchley C., Burke M. & Stevens D. (2004) Conservation of lowland semi-natural grasslands in the UK: a review of botanical monitoring results from agri-environment schemes. Biological Conservation, 115, 263-278.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

    A 2004 analysis of monitoring data (a replicated site comparison) in the UK (Critchley et al. 2004) concluded that agri-environment schemes maintain, but do not reliably improve, plant diversity in grasslands. In 22 of 38 datasets, no change was detected in the vegetation under agri-environment schemes. Nine showed some change towards the desired plant community, and seven showed further deterioration. Of 17 datasets that included non-agreement land for comparison, seven found agri-environment agreements were benefitting plant communities (deterioration or no change on non-agreement land contrasting with maintenance or restoration on agreement land). Two found more positive trends in plant communities outside agri-environment schemes than under them. In eight comparisons, there was no difference between agreement and non-agreement land. Thirty-eight sets of vegetation monitoring results were analysed. They included 188 specific agri-environment schemes aimed at maintaining, enhancing or restoring grasslands or grassland landscapes in the UK. These involved repeated monitoring over up to eight years, on between four and 400 locations/agri-environment scheme, using a range of sampling strategies.

     

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust