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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Will Environmental Stewardship enhance small mammal abundance on intensively managed farmland?

Published source details

Shore R.F., Meek W.R., Sparks T.H., Pywell R.F. & Nowakowski M. (2005) Will Environmental Stewardship enhance small mammal abundance on intensively managed farmland? Mammal Review, 35, 277-284


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

Create uncultivated margins around intensive arable or pasture fields Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1999–2000 on an arable farm in North Yorkshire, UK (Shore et al. 2005) found that in uncultivated grassy field margins, more bank voles Clethrionomys glareolus were caught than in cultivated field edges in autumn, but not in spring, while numbers of wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus or common shrews Sorex araneus caught did not differ between uncultivated or cultivated margins. Total bank vole captures each autumn were higher in 3-m-wide grassy margins (13–14 individuals) and 6-m-wide grassy margins (26–38 individuals) than in cultivated field edges (1 individual) but differences between these treatments were not tested for statistical significance. There were no differences in spring (3-m margin: 9–10; 6-m margin: 2–7; cultivated: 0–18 individuals). Wood mouse catches did not differ significantly between field margin types (3-m margin: 1–29; 6-m margin: 0–18; cultivated: 7–22 individuals), nor did those of common shrew (3-m margin: 2–15; 6-m margin: 0–13; cultivated: 1–4 individuals). Grassy field margins were sown in autumn 1997. Small mammals were live-trapped in four 3-m grassy margins, four 6-m grassy margins and four cultivated field edges, over four weeks in spring (April–May) and four weeks in autumn (September–October) in each of 1999 and 2000.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in North Yorkshire, UK (Shore et al. 2005) found more bank voles Clethrionomys glareolus and common shrews Sorex araneus on sown grass field margins in autumn than on control cropped margins, but no such differences in spring. There were 13-14 and 26-38 bank voles/autumn trapping period on 3 m and 6 m margins respectively, compared to 0-1 voles on control margins. There were 14-15 and 10-13 common shrews/autumn trapping period on 3 m and 6 m margins respectively, compared to 1-4 common shrews on control margins. Wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus were found in similar numbers on all margin types in autumn and spring (0-29 mice/trapping period). Four 3 m-wide and four 6 m-wide field margins were established in autumn 1997 and sown with a mix of grasses on one arable farm. Small mammals were trapped in spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) 1999 and 2000 on sown field margins and four conventional cropped field edges (controls). On four separate nights in each trapping period, twenty Longworth traps were set 10 m apart on each margin, 10 along the edge furthest from the crop, and 10 placed 2 m into the crop. This study was carried out at the same experimental site as Telfer et al. 2000, Carvell et al. 2004.