Achieving more for nature

Your land

Whether you have a small garden, 10,000 hectares of farmland or you are interested in making the development in your town better for nature there is something in this section for you.

Arable field margins

Found across all of Greater Lincolnshire arable field margins are a key feature of the farming landscape. Field margins are both practical, making it easier to cultivate a field and desirable, preventing pesticide spray drift from entering watercourses for example.

Arable field margins are important for wildlife as they are now the main place where scarce arable plants can thrive. Depending on the type of margin they may also be important for a range of other wildlife such as invertebrates, including pollinators, and ground nesting birds and small mammals. For more on the description of arable field margins and their status in Greater Lincolnshire see the Farmland and Grassland Nature Strategy page.

There are various types of arable field margin for example cultivated, low-input margins; margins sown to provide food for wild birds; margins sown to provide pollen and nectar for invertebrates; permanent grassy margins. Each of these will look different and will look different again on different soil types. Despite these differences for each margin type a site in good condition should have varying degrees of grasses, flowering plants and fewer weeds that should be relatively recognisable after visits to several sites.

The following are links to good practice on managing field margins for wildlife. Some of these are specifically arable field margins and some are generic. Field margins can be managed for a variety of species groups and the information, in alphabetical order, below reflects this:

  • Buglife – a four page factsheet for invertebrates including nine different management actions for margins and hedges.
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust – a two page factsheet for bees listing management actions by types of margin. Also includes a handy summary management table.
  • Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust – a webpage on the importance of cultivated margins for rare arable plants. Some information on management and establishment.
  • Plantlife – a 16 page document on the importance of arable plants, how to manage for them in the farmed environment and the types of arable plants that could be found on different soils
  • RSPB – a webpage and associated downloadable resources and weblinks for specific species management. Information includes types of margin, creation of margins and management of margins.