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Individual study: Some effects of cereal pesticides on gamebirds and other farmland fauna

Published source details

Rands M.R.W., Sotherton N.W. & Moreby S.J. (1984) Some effects of cereal pesticides on gamebirds and other farmland fauna. Recent developments in cereal production. University of Nottingham, December 1984., 98-113.


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

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of cereal headlands on an arable farm in north-east Hampshire, UK (Rands et al. 1984) found that grey partridge Perdix perdix brood size, abundance of invertebrates (chick food and pest predators) and weed density tended to be greater on unsprayed compared to sprayed headlands. Grey partridge brood size was significantly larger on plots with unsprayed (6.4) compared to sprayed headlands (2.2). Abundance of chick food species (true bugs (Heteroptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and sawfly (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) larvae, leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae) and weevils (Curculionidae)) was significantly higher and aphid predators (spiders (Araneae), ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae)) tended to be greater in unsprayed (chick food: 180/50 sweeps, predators: 7.8) compared to sprayed headlands (chick food: 62/50 sweeps, predators: 4.6). Weed densities tended to be higher on unsprayed (5/m²) compared to sprayed headlands (3/m²), but only one of 21 species was significantly higher. Three areas were split into two treatment plots: sprayed with conventional pesticides or 6 m headlands left unsprayed. Grey partridge brood size was recorded from August-September 1983. Insects were sampled using a sweep net (50 sweeps in June) and weed species were recorded within 10 quadrats in each headland. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Rands 1985, Rands 1986, Rands & Sotherton 1986, Dover et al. 1990, Sotherton 1991, Dover 1997).

Leave headlands in fields unsprayed (conservation headlands) Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study of cereal headlands on an arable farm in north-east Hampshire, UK (Rands et al. 1984), found that grey partridge brood size was significantly larger on unsprayed compared to sprayed headlands (6.4 chicks/brood on unsprayed vs. 2.2 on sprayed headlands). Abundance of chick food species (‘true bugs’, caterpillars and sawfly larvae, leaf beetles and weevils) was significantly greater in unsprayed headlands compared to sprayed headlands (180 individuals/50 sweeps for unsprayed vs. 62 for sprayed). Three areas were split into two treatment plots: sprayed with conventional pesticides or 6 m headlands left unsprayed.  Grey partridge brood size was recorded from August-September 1983.  Insects were sampled using a sweep net (50 sweeps in June).