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Birds and green lanes: Breeding season bird abundance, territories and species richness

Biological Conservation


This study examines bird occurrence on 20 green lanes (farmland tracks with un-sealed surfaces, bordered on each side by hedgerows) and on 20 paired single hedgerows during the 2002 breeding season in Cheshire, UK. Measures of bird abundance, territories and species richness were all found to be significantly greater on green lanes than on single hedgerows. Significantly more birds were also found to occur on the inside rather than on the outside of green lanes in terms of abundance and species richness. All measures of bird occurrence on green lanes were influenced by hedge width and surrounding land use. Bird abundance on single hedgerows was influenced by the number of trees and amount of hawthorn in the hedge. Seventeen of the 18 most abundant bird species recorded in this study were found to occur in greater numbers on green lanes rather than in single hedgerows; for half of these species the difference was significant. The importance of green lanes for birds, and other wildlife is discussed, as well as their possible future within the UK landscape. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Walker, MP; Dover, JW; Hinsley, SA; Sparks, TH

Journal: Biological Conservation

Year: 2005


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