Farmers' attitudes, perceptions and the management of field boundary vegetation on farmland.

Author Morris, R.M., Oreszczyn, S.M., Stoate, C. & Lane, A.B.
Citation Morris, R.M., Oreszczyn, S.M., Stoate, C. & Lane, A.B. (2002). Farmers' attitudes, perceptions and the management of field boundary vegetation on farmland. In: Conservation Pays? Reconciling Environmental Benefits with Profitable Grassland Systems: 151-155. Occasional Symposium No. 36, Proceedings of the joint British Grassland Society/British Ecological Society Conference 2002, London.

Abstract

Boundary vegetation is an important resource for farmland wildlife, for biodiversity and as a landscape component. However, the management of such areas has been generally neglected over recent years. This paper draws on the findings from two studies of farmers' and others' perceptions of field boundary management, to suggest ways of ameliorating this. The studies used complementary techniques - a detailed questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews. Management of field boundaries varied, depending on the way farmers perceived and valued them and on a range of external influences. While commercial aspects generally dominated field boundary management, both farmers, professionals and the wider public also appreciated hedgerows as landscape or countryside features. The study suggests it may be useful to build on or influence these attitudes to maintain or enhance the conservation value of field boundary vegetation.

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