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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Set aside fields contain more species and higher abundances of birds than crop fields on farms across England

Published source details

Henderson I.G., Vickery J.A. & Fuller R.J. (2000) Summer bird abundance and distribution on set-aside fields on intensive arable farms in England. Ecography, 23, 50-59


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 on 11 farms in east and west England (Henderson et al. 2000), found that set-aside fields supported more species and higher densities of birds than adjacent crop fields (1-7 birds/ha and 7-21 species for 11 set-aside fields vs. 0.2-0.8 birds/ha and 2-5 species on 11 crop fields). Between 78% and 100% of species found on both field types were more abundant on set-aside. These preferences were stronger (although not significantly so) for rotational set-aside, compared to non-rotational.

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A replicated paired sites comparison study in 1996-1997 on 11 farms in east and west England (Henderson et al. 2000b) found that set-aside fields supported more species and higher densities of birds than adjacent crop fields (1.4-7.1 birds/ha and 7-21 species for 11 set-aside fields vs 0.2-0.8 birds/ha and 2-5 species on 11 crop fields). Between 78% and 100% of species found on both field types were more abundant on set-aside. These preferences were stronger (although not significantly so) for rotational set-aside, compared to non-rotational.