, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 465-474
Date: 30 Dec 2006

Agri-environment schemes and butterflies: the utilisation of two metre arable field margins

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The utilisation of two metre field margins by butterflies was studied at three farms in Essex, south east England between 1997 and 2000. The aim of the study was to establish whether field margins, as set up and managed under Countryside Stewardship Scheme guidelines, were beneficial to common farmland butterflies. Thirteen two metre margins (total length 4478 m) and three sections with no margin (total length 656 m) were monitored over the 4 year period using the transect method. Significantly more Maniola jurtina, Thymelicus sylvestris and Thymelicus lineola were seen on the two metre margins than on the control sections, but there was a significant reduction in abundance of Thymelicus sylvestris, Thymelicus lineola and Ochlodes venata on the margins over the 4 year study period. Only the abundance of Pyronia tithonus increased significantly on the two metre margins over that period.