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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Small mammals on set-aside blocks and margins

Published source details

Tattersall F.H., Hart B.J., Manley W.J., Macdonald D.W. & Feber R.E. (1999) Small mammals on set-aside blocks and margins. Aspects of Applied Biology, 54, 131-138


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

Provide or retain set-aside areas in farmland Farmland Conservation

A small, replicated study of set-aside on two Royal Agricultural College farms in Gloucester, England (Tattersall et al. 1999b; same study as Tattersall et al. 1999a) found that set-aside established as margins (20 m wide; 5 ha) next to hedgerow had a more abundant and species rich small mammal community than larger (5 ha) blocks. Set-aside margins had more mammals (21 animals, 8 species caught/trap session) than larger blocks (11 animals, five species caught/trap session).  Wood mice dominated (76% on margins; 50% on blocks). Species richness, but not diversity, was significantly greater on margins (richness: 2.4; diversity: 0.3) than blocks (richness: 2.1; diversity: 0.2). Both parameters increased from 1996 to 1997.  The abundances of species changed with time and season on set-aside margins and blocks. Set-aside was established by sowing a grass/clover mix in 1995, which was cut annually in July or August. Grids of 49 traps were set in the centre of set-aside blocks and spanning the set-aside margin and adjacent hedgerow and crop. Traps were set for five nights in March, June, September and December 1996-1997 and a mark recapture technique followed.