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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Farmland birds are found at higher densities on set aside fields in England, compared to grassland or cereal fields

Published source details

Henderson I.G., Cooper J., Fuller R.J. & Vickery J. (2000) The relative abundance of birds on set-aside and neighbouring fields in summer. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 335-347


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 Bird Conservation

A replicated paired sites study in 1996-7 across 92 arable farms in England (Henderson et al. 2000) found that five of six bird functional groups examined were at higher densities on set-aside fields, compared to winter cereals or grassland (although thrushes only showed this preference in one year). On ten farms with rotational and non-rotational set-aside, all groups except crows were found at higher densities on rotational set-aside fields. All groups except gamebirds (which showed no significant field preferences) were also more likely to be found on set-aside than on other field types. Functional groups of birds were gamebirds, pigeons, crows, skylarks, thrushes and seed-eating songbirds (sparrows, buntings and finches).

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A replicated site comparison study with paired sites in 1996-1997 across 92 arable farms in England (Henderson et al. 2000a) found five of six bird functional groups at higher densities on set-aside fields, compared to winter cereals or grassland (although thrushes only showed this preference in one year). On ten farms with rotational and non-rotational set-aside, all groups except crows were found at higher densities on rotational fields. All groups except gamebirds (which showed no significant field preferences) were more likely to be found on set-aside than other field types. Functional groups of birds were gamebirds, pigeons, crows, skylarks Alauda arvensis, thrushes and seed-eating songbirds (sparrows, buntings and finches).