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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Hedge management and sown buffer strips increase hedgerow plant diversity

Published source details

Moonen A.C. & Marshall E.J.P. (2001) The influence of sown margin strips, management and boundary structure on herbaceous field margin vegetation in two neighbouring farms in southern England. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 86, 187-202


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

Manage hedgerows to benefit wildlife (includes no spray, gap-filling and laying) Farmland Conservation

A site comparison study of 60 hedgerows on two neighbouring arable farms in Wiltshire, UK (Moonen & Marshall 2001) found that coppiced and gapped-up hedges had the greatest number of plant species (23 species on average) followed by those with adjacent sown grass and grass/wildflower strips (2, 4 or 20m wide; Manor Farm: 17 species) and those with a 0.5 m sterile strip created with a broad-spectrum herbicide (Noland’s Farm: 15 species). Hedges with adjacent sown strips had a lower abundance of pernicious weed species. The composition of woody species within hedges did not differ between the two farms (Manor Farm: 22 woody species, Noland’s Farm: 16 woody species). All 23 sampled hedges on Noland’s Farm were trimmed annually and had the vegetation at the hedge base cut. The 37 sampled hedges on Manor Farm were trimmed in alternate years, and nine were coppiced and gapped-up. Hedge vegetation was assessed in 25 m long plots in the middle of a field edge, on both sides of each hedge, in June 1996.

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

A site comparison study in 1996 in Wiltshire, UK (Moonen & Marshall 2001) found that coppiced and gapped-up hedges (hedges cut to the ground and gaps planted with hedging plants) had higher plant diversity than those with adjacent sown grass and grass/wildflower strips. Hedges with adjacent sown strips had a lower abundance of pernicious weed species. Sixty hedgerows on two neighbouring arable farms were studied. All 23 sampled hedges on Noland’s Farm were trimmed annually and had the vegetation at the hedge base cut. The 37 sampled hedges on Manor Farm were trimmed in alternate years, and nine were coppiced and gapped-up. Hedge vegetation was assessed in 25 m long plots in the middle of a field edge, on both sides of each hedge, in June 1996.

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips Farmland Conservation

A site comparison study in 1996 in Wiltshire, UK (Moonen & Marshall 2001) found that coppiced and gapped-up hedges had higher plant diversity than those with adjacent sown grass and grass/wildflower strips. Hedges with adjacent sown strips had lower abundances of pernicious weed species. Sixty hedgerows on two neighbouring arable farms were studied. All 23 sampled hedges on Noland’s Farm were trimmed annually and had the vegetation at the hedge base cut. The 37 sampled hedges on Manor Farm were trimmed in alternate years, and nine were coppiced and gapped-up. Hedge vegetation was assessed in 25 m-long plots in the middle of a field edge, on both sides of each hedge in June.