Does the method of set-aside establishment affect its use by wood mice?

  • Published source details Tattersall F.H., Fagiano A.L., Bembridge J.D., Edwards P., Macdonald D.W. & Hart B.J. (1999) Does the method of set-aside establishment affect its use by wood mice?. Journal of Zoology, 249, 472-476.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Establish wild flower areas on farmland

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Establish wild flower areas on farmland

    A site comparison study in 1996–1997 on two arable farms in southern UK (Tattersall et al. 1999) found that set-aside comprising a species-rich mix of grasses and native forbs was used more by wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus relative to availability, than was a simple grass and clover set-aside. Wood mice used species-rich set-aside proportionally to its availability within home ranges. Wood mice used grass/clover set-aside in lower proportion than its availability in home ranges. Data were presented as preference indices. Vegetation in the grass and forb set-aside was more species-rich than that in the grass and clover set-aside, though it was shorter and less dense. Grass and forb set-aside was established in 10-m strips adjacent to crops and hedgerows at one site. Grass and clover set-aside was established on 20-m margins and a 5-ha block at the second site. Nine wood mice were radio-tracked over three nights at each farm, in May–July of 1996 and 1997.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland

    A site comparison study monitoring the behaviour of individual wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus on two arable farms in England (Tattersall et al., 1999a; following on from Tattersall et al. 1997) found that set-aside established using species-rich mixes of grasses and native forbs was preferred and set-aside established using a simple grass/clover mix avoided by the mice.  On average, wood mice at Jealott's Hill preferred set-aside (species-rich mixes; preference index: 0.12) and avoided crop (-0.12); at Eysey they avoided set-aside (simple mix; -0.16) and preferred other habitats (0.12). However, only at Eysey was there a significant deviation from random habitat use overall. Vegetation at Jealott's Hill contained more species but was shorter and provided less cover than that at Eysey. Set-aside was established in the 10 m next to the crop and the hedge at Jealott's Hill (1996) and on 20 m wide margins and an adjoining 5 ha block at Eysey (1995). Nine wood mice were radio-tracked continuously for three nights at each farm (May-July 1996-1997). Vegetation data were obtained using a quadrat survey (1 m²).


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