The environmental interest of field margins to game and other wildlife: a Game Conservancy view.
In this paper we summarise the research which has shown the importance of field boundaries and the outermost of field crops to gamebirds and other wildlife. Permanent field boundaries make up the majority of nesting habitat for grey and red-legged partridges in Britain. Their value to these species can be greatly enhanced by retaining or creating an earth bank at the base of the field boundary and by increasing the amount of dead grass in the hedge bottom. These habitat features also benefit overwintering polyphagous predatory insects of crop pests.
The outer edge of crops (field headlands) are the major chick-rearing areas for grey and red-legged partridges. The chicks on arthropods and weed seeds which are significantly more abundant in the field headlands than elsewhere.