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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Mixed herbivore grazing on a lowland heath system: quantifying the collective impacts for conservation management

Published source details

Wilkie M. (2013) Mixed herbivore grazing on a lowland heath system: quantifying the collective impacts for conservation management. PhD. Southampton University.


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Use fences to exclude livestock from shrublands Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in a heathland site in the UK (Wilkie 2013) found that fencing to exclude livestock had no effect on vegetation composition and did not alter the abundance of bentgrass Agrostis spp., festuca species Festuca spp., rush Juncus spp., moor grass Molinia spp., sedge Carex spp., heather Calluna spp., heath Erica spp., or Myrica spp.. Vegetation in grazed areas has a similar community composition to that found in ungrazed areas (data presented as graphical analysis). There were no significant differences in the abundance of bentgrass, festuca, rush, moor grass, sedge, heather, heath, or Myrica spp. between grazed and ungrazed areas (data not presented). There were 0.12 cattle/ha and 0.08 horses/ha in the grazed part of the site. Four fenced plots were established at the site along with four unfenced plots. Within each plot vegetation cover was estimated.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)