Scientists from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH)
investigated the impact of a 1,000-hectare commercial farm in
Buckinghamshire onbiodiversity. The results, published in/Journal of
Applied Ecology/, showed that agri-environment schemes are beneficial to
the bird and butterfly populations.
The study started in 2005 and involved creating several wildlife
habitats, which include seed-bearing plants for birds, insects, and
small mammals. The effectiveness of these agri-environmental measures
was evaluated in terms of reducing biodiversity losses brought by the
intensified farming practices.
The researchers monitored the abundance of 12 widespread bird and 9
butterfly species in the study area and compared them with similar
landscapes without agri-environment schemes. Results showed that
population trends were frequently stable or increasing in the study area
compared to the concurrent declining trends in other areas without
agri-environment schemes. These findings highlight the significant
benefits of agri-environment schemes to biodiversity.