Effects of agri-environment schemes in a long-term ecological time series

  • Published source details Taylor M.E. & Morecroft M.D. (2009) Effects of agri-environment schemes in a long-term ecological time series. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 130, 9-15.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

    A before-and-after study on one farm in Oxfordshire, UK (Taylor & Morecroft 2009) found that following a change to management under the Environmentally Sensitive Areas scheme (also leading to organic certification), the numbers of large moths (Lepidoptera), some species of butterfly and ground beetle (Carabidae), and the number of plant species, including butterfly larval food plant species, increased. The butterfly species that increased after Environmentally Sensitive Area management included the brown argus Aricia agestis, the common blue Polyommatus icarus and the small copper Lycaena phlaeas. Overall butterfly and ground beetle numbers, and numbers of pipistrelle bats Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus and Daubenton’s bats Myotis daubentonii also increased over the entire time period, but the increase did not happen after management change. Butterflies, plants, ground beetles and bats were regularly monitored on the farm from 1994 to 2006 inclusive. In 2002, the farm entered the Environmentally Sensitive Areas agri-environment scheme. The proportion of grassland increased, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides were no longer used, and the total number of livestock dropped from 180 cows and 1000 sheep to 120 cows and 850 sheep. The land was certified organic in 2005.


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