Beetle banks, narrow in-field ridges of tussocky grasses, have been used to break up large fields by farmers for decades (Stripes of wildflowers across farm fields could cut pesticide spraying, 31 January) and have been funded by successive government schemes. This puts the predatory beetles and spiders inside the crop and allows them to start controlling pests early in the spring before outbreaks can build up.
Some 25 years ago, we installed beetle banks at our Allerton Project research farm at Loddington, Leicestershire. Since then, we have never had to spray our cereal crops for summer greenfly infestations.
Professor Nick Sotherton
Director of Research at Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)