Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact of agri-environment schemes on British lowland heath and cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus populations

Published source details

Ovenden G., Swash A. & Smallshire D. (1998) Agri-environment schemes and their contribution to the conservation of biodiversity in England. Journal of Applied Ecology, 35, 955-960


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

Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures Bird Conservation

A 1998 literature review (Ovenden et al. 1998) found that cirl buntings Emberiza cirlus in Britain responded positively to Countryside Stewardship Schemes, reaching population levels of 360-388 occupied territories in 1995- 1997, compared with 118 or so in the mid-1980s. Some of the interventions used include reducing grassland management intensity; sowing arable field margins; managing hedgerows for wildlife; growing spring barley; reducing herbicide use and maintaining overwinter stubbles. More studies describing the effects of these interventions are discussed in the relevant sections.

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

A 1998 literature review (Ovenden et al. 1998) found that cirl bunting Emberiza cirlus in the UK responded positively to Countryside Stewardship Schemes, reaching population levels of 360-388 occupied territories in 1995-1997 (Evans 1997), compared with 118 or so in the mid-1980s (Evans 1992). Some of the interventions used include reducing grassland management intensity, sowing arable field margins, managing hedgerows for wildlife, growing spring barley, reducing herbicide use and maintaining overwinter stubbles. 

Additional references:

Evans A.D. (1992) The numbers and distribution of cirl buntings Emberiza cirlus breeding in Britain in 1989. Bird Study, 39, 17-22.

Evans A.D. (1997) Cirl buntings in Britain. British Birds, 90, 267-282.