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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Grazing of lowland heath in England: Management methods and their effects on healthland vegetation

Published source details

Bullock J.M. & Pakeman R.J. (1997) Grazing of lowland heath in England: Management methods and their effects on healthland vegetation. Biological Conservation, 79, 1-13


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

Reduce number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1994 at three heathlands in the UK (Bullock & Pakeman 1997) found that reducing the abundance of livestock had mixed effects on the cover of shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plant species. Reducing the abundance of livestock increased cover of shrub species in one of nine comparisons (ungrazed: 80%, grazed: 45%) but reduced cover of shrub species in three of nine comparisons (ungrazed: 0–2%, grazed: 3–8%). For one of eight comparisons cover of grass species was lower in grazed (9%) than ungrazed areas (32%) but for three of eight comparisons cover of grass species was higher in grazed (3–8%) than ungrazed areas (0%). For three of six comparisons cover of herbaceous species was higher in grazed (2–3%) than in ungrazed areas (0%) while for the remaining three comparisons cover did not differ in grazed and ungrazed areas. At each site one area was grazed and another area was not grazed. At each site 5–15 quadrats were located randomly and cover of plant species estimated by eye.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Increase number of livestock Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1994 at three heathlands in the UK (Bullock & Pakeman 1997) found that increasing the abundance of livestock had mixed effects on the cover of shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous plant species. Increasing the abundance of livestock decreased cover of shrub species in one of nine comparisons (grazed: 45%, ungrazed: 80%) but increased cover of shrub species in three of nine comparisons (grazed: 3–8%, ungrazed: 0–2%). For one of eight comparisons grass cover was lower in grazed (9%) than ungrazed areas (32%) but for three of eight comparisons grass cover was higher in grazed (3–8%) than ungrazed areas (0%). For three of six comparisons cover of herbaceous species was higher in grazed (2–3%) than in ungrazed areas (0%) while for the remaining three comparisons cover did not differ in grazed and ungrazed areas. At each site one area was grazed and another area was not grazed. At each site 5–15 quadrats were located randomly and cover of plant species estimated by eye.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)