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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Habitat characteristics of harvest mouse nests on arable farmland.

Published source details

Bence S.L., Stander K. & Griffiths M. (2003) Habitat characteristics of harvest mouse nests on arable farmland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 99, 179-186

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Create beetle banks Farmland Conservation

A controlled study in autumn 1998 on a predominantly arable farm in Leicestershire, UK (Bence et al. 2003) found overall more harvest mouse Micromys minutus nests in beetle banks (117 nests/ha) than field margins (14 nests/ha) although this difference was not statistically tested. Beetle banks were created and sown with grasses such as cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata between September 1992 and 1994 and cut regularly in the year of establishment. Field margins were often adjacent to a hedgerow and normally left uncut. The two habitats were hand searched for harvest mouse nests in September to November, in a total of 1.8 km of beetle banks and 9.8 km of field margins. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Collins et al. 1996, Moreby & Southway 2002, Murray et al. 2002, Collins et al. 2003).