Farmed area

The other sections of the plan have focussed on making the most of existing habitats on the farm and creating relatively small areas of new habitat at field margins to provide key resources for farmland wildlife.

It has been proven that managing between 5 and 10% of the farmed area in the right way can make a huge difference for wildlife. The focus of the other 90 to 95% of the farm is the production of food. However, how this land is farmed will still have a major bearing on its value to wildlife.

Understandably, there can be reluctance to undertake conservation measures in the heart of farming operations. However, there are some in-field measures that deliver major benefits to specific species or help the overall farmed environment with little inconvenience to farming operations or loss of production.



Soil management in particular is critical to the long-term productivity of farmland and to the recovery of much of our farmland wildlife. Winter cover crops and green manure can help farming reduce its impact on the soil biodiversity that underpins the whole food chain for wildlife. Integrated pest management can help minimise both the costs and environmental impact of inputs through a series of non-chemical solutions to managing weeds, pests and diseases.

Fallow and skylark plots can be used to target ground nesting birds such as lapwing, stone curlew and skylark. Beetle banks and in-field grass areas can provide good habitat for small mammals and birds, be targeted to help to reduce soil erosion and provide shelter for pest predators and pollinators to move into cropped areas each spring.

Choose a type of farmed area for expert advice on how to achieve the most from it.


The types of grassland and the ways in which they are grazed have a great bearing on the wildlife interest of livestock and mixed farms. Some small modifications can provide greater opportunities for wildlife.

Choose a type of farmed area for expert advice on how to achieve the most from it.