The implications of Orthoptera of grazing in arable wilding schemes

In the tenth article of the Wilding for Conservation series, Tim Gardiner and Dorothy Casey demonstrate how orthopteran populations have responded to changes on wilded grassland on former arable land in an attempt to shed light on how effective rewilding former farmland is as a means of increasing biodiversity. “Orthoptera (grasshoppers and crickets) can be

Restoring the ghostly and the ghastly: a new golden age for British lowland farm ponds?

A previous article in British Wildlife (Sayer et al. 2013) focused on Richard Waddingham and his Norfolk farm, emphasising an urgent need for pond restoration and management on farmland. Here, Carl Sayer, Juliet Hawkins and Helen Greaves discuss the history of farm ponds, the problems that they have faced over recent decades, the restoration and

Reserve Focus: Ranscombe Farm Reserve, Cuxton, Kent

There is a passage in J E Lousley's classic New Naturalist title Wild Flowers of Chalk and Limestone (1950) where he describes, in his typically cryptic way, a place of 'chalky cultivated fields… above the Medway', where the 'rare little Hairy Mallow' and various other chalkland rarities grow.

Dinas Island Farm, Pembrokeshire – A Golden Future?

Sixty years ago, the renowned naturalist Ronald Lockley wrote an account of a year spent farming on the Pembrokeshire coast. The book was called The Golden Year, echoing the title of a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, written a century earlier after a visit to Wales. 

Corn Buntings in North-west Europe – going down

It seems, nowadays, that having 'corn' in one's name is a very unlucky epithet for plants and birds alike. Botanists will know that both Corncockle, Agrostemma githago, and Cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, have both declined drastically in the last few decades. Ornithologists will have long been aware of the retreat north and west of the Corncrake, Crex crex.

Some Practical Problems in Set-aside Management for Wildlife

In May 1992 significant new changes in the Common Agricultural Policy were announced which will result in the great majority of cereal farmers putting land into set-aside and which potentially opens the door to further measures designed to require environmentally sensitive farming. It now seems likely that set-aside is here to stay.

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