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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The transformation of surplus farmland into semi-natural habitat I. Effect of seed supply on the conservation value of Scottish set-aside exemplified by the vegetation at a site near Elgin

Published source details

Ford M.A. (1996) The transformation of surplus farmland into semi-natural habitat I. Effect of seed supply on the conservation value of Scottish set-aside exemplified by the vegetation at a site near Elgin. Aspects of Applied Biology, 44, 179-184


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

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A small replicated, randomized study of set-aside on a farm west of Moray, Scotland (Ford 1996) found that vegetation of conservation value can develop within set-aside provided species occur in the seed bank.  The abundance of the dominant species false oat grass Arrhenatherum elatius, Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus and cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata varied across the set-aside.  Some variations were explained by sub-plot location, others by management; removing cuttings reduced false oat grass abundance. No further results are provided as the study was ongoing at time the paper was written.  A 25 m wide strip of set-aside was established in 1989 and divided into three plots of 25 x 28 m in three randomized blocks.  Treatments were: cut in July, cut in September and cut in July and September to 6 cm.  Each plot was divided into two sub-plots: cuttings removed or left in situ.  Plant species composition was recorded in June-July 1993.