Study

Some agri-environment scheme options successfully increase biodiversity on UK farms

  • Published source details Stoate C. & Moorcroft D. (2007) Research-based conservation at the farm scale: development and assessment of agri-environment scheme options. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, 161-168

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create beetle banks

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Create skylark plots for bird conservation

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Leave uncropped, cultivated margins or plots, including lapwing and stone curlew plots

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Create skylark plots

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields for birds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Leave cultivated, uncropped margins or plots (includes 'lapwing plots')

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Create beetle banks

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Create beetle banks

    A 2007 UK literature review (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) describes studies that found grey partridge Perdix perdix and Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis nesting in beetle banks. One study also found that skylarks were more likely than yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella to forage in beetle banks. This study is also discussed in ‘Leave uncropped, cultivated margins or plots, including lapwing and stone curlew plots’, ‘Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields’ and ‘Create skylark plots’.

     

  2. Create skylark plots for bird conservation

    A 2007 literature review (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) reports that on two experimental farms in the UK Eurasian skylarks were able to raise 49% more young in fields with skylark plots, compared to fields without plots, by prolonging the length of the breeding season. This study is also discussed in ‘Leave uncropped, cultivated margins or plots, including lapwing and stone curlew plots’, ‘Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields’ and ‘Create beetle banks’.

     

  3. Leave uncropped, cultivated margins or plots, including lapwing and stone curlew plots

    A study in 2003-5 in Cambridgeshire, UK (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007), found that the nesting success of Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis was significantly higher in a field that was fallowed after harvest, compared to in cereal crop fields (84% success in the fallow field vs. 35%), whilst the number of nests in the field increased from two to eight following the fallow. Overwinter counts of yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella, reed buntings E. schoeniclus, linnets Carduelis cannabina and skylarks on the fallow field were also far higher than in previous years. This study is also discussed in ‘Create skylark plots’, ‘Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields’ and ‘Create beetle banks’.

     

  4. Create skylark plots

    A 2007 study and literature review (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) reports that Eurasian skylarks Alauda arvensis were able to raise 49% more young in fields with skylark plots, compared to fields without plots, by prolonging the length of the breeding season.

     

  5. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields for birds

    A 2007 literature review discussing research on a farm in Leicestershire, UK (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007), found that grass margins around fields contained high numbers of yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella and whitethroat Sylvia communis nests, the former of which had higher survival than in adjacent hedgerows. This study is also discussed in ‘Leave uncropped, cultivated margins or plots, including lapwing and stone curlew plots’, ‘Create skylark plots’ and ‘Create beetle banks’.

     

  6. Leave cultivated, uncropped margins or plots (includes 'lapwing plots')

    A study in 2003-2005 in Cambridgeshire, UK (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) found that the nesting success of Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis was significantly higher in a field that was fallowed after harvest, compared to in cereal crop fields (84% success in the fallow field vs 35%), whilst the number of nests in the field increased from two to eight following the fallow. Overwinter counts of yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella, reed bunting E. schoeniclus, linnet Carduelis cannabina and skylark on the fallow field were also far higher than in previous years.

     

  7. Create beetle banks

    A 2007 UK literature review (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) describes a study which found that beetle banks held higher densities of harvest mouse Micromys minutus nests than field margins. Other studies found that grey partridge Perdix perdix and Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis also nested in beetle banks. Skylarks were found to be more likely than yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella to forage in beetle banks. However, a study in Leicestershire, UK, found that lesser marsh grasshoppers Chorthippus albomarginatus did not use two species of plant commonly planted in beetle banks (cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata and false oat grass Arrhenatherum elatius) as food plants.

     

  8. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A 2007 literature review in Leicestershire, UK (Stoate & Moorcroft 2007) found that grass margins contained large numbers of overwintering invertebrates such as rove beetles (Staphylinidae) and ground beetles (Carabidae) as well as high numbers of yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella and whitethroat Sylvia communis nests; yellowhammer had higher survival than in adjacent hedgerows.

Output references

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