The effect of mowing saltings pasture on feeding preferences of wigeon Anas penelope at Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve, Somerset, England

  • Published source details Cadwalladr D.A. & Morley J.V. (1974) Further experiments on the management of saltings pasture for wigeon (Anas penelope L.) conservation at Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve, Somerset. Journal of Applied Ecology, 11, 461-466


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Mow or cut semi-natural grasslands/pastures

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Mow or cut semi-natural grasslands/pastures

    A replicated controlled study in 1971-1973 in an area of grazed salt marsh Bridgewater Bay, Somerset, England (Cadwalladr & Morley 1974), found that wigeon Anas penelope grazed at significantly higher densities on areas of red fescue Festuca rubra that were both grazed and cut, compared to areas that were only grazed (20-1,135 droppings/30 m2 for eight cut areas vs. 0-15 for eight uncut areas). The cut and grazed areas were used at the same rate as areas of eight areas of salt marsh grass Puccinellia maritima (32-695 droppings/30 m2). The grazed areas contained large amounts of unpalatable rank fescue. Sheep were used to graze the marsh in May-September, but were removed before the arrival of wigeon in winter. Areas were cut short in September so that they resembled the areas of salt marsh grass.


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