OpenFields

1549: The Allerton project – boosting biodiversity

This paper is taken from a section of ‘20 Years of The Allerton Project’

Year of Publication2012

Blackbird and song thrush nests are more successful near pasture. Linnets and reed buntings favour oilseed rape. Tree sparrows forage in field beans. Crop diversity is beneficial to birds because it produces a succession of food sources. Wild bird seed crops are best grown separately to optimise the agronomic needs of each. For most crops seed supply was completely depleted by January so supplementary feeding is needed after then. Grass margins limit and provide habitats for spiders and predatory insects. Beetle banks provide homes for a wide range of beneficial insects, small mammals and their predators. Pollinators need to be encouraged to improve fruit production in hedges.

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