Barnsley Biodiversity Trust logo Barnsley Biodiversity Trust: Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. DRAFT Last Updated August 2019

Arable field margins. Strips of land around arable fields, between crops and field boundaries, are sometimes deliberately managed to benefit key farmland species. They are excluded from crop spraying and other similar activities.

They buffer ditches, streams and hedgerows from agricultural activity and pollution and provide wildlife corridors which allow wildlife to move freely between habitats.

Arable field margins managed to benefit wildlife

The wildflowers in field margins are important sources of nectar and pollen for bees, wasps, hoverflies and butterflies. Grasshoppers and beetles take cover in the grasses, along with many beneficial predators, such as spiders and ladybirds, which feed on crop pests like aphids.

Field margins can provide refuge for Brown Hare, Harvest Mouse and small mammals like Field Vole which attract Barn Owl and Kestrel.

They also offer feeding and nesting sites for birds such as Grey Partridge and Skylark, as well as feeding sites for Linnet and Tree Sparrow, all of which are identified as priority species.

The arable field crops themselves help support wildlife such as

When arable field provide over-wintered stubbles or are set-aside for a period, they also provide support for wildlife

The following links give more information on arable field margins

Priority habitat details.

Arable field margins are a local priority habitat because of their importance in supporting wildlife.

Arable field margin is a UK BAP priority habitat.

‘Arable Field Margin’ is a general term referring to herbaceous strips or blocks of land around arable fields, lying between crops and the field boundary, that are deliberately managed to benefit key farmland species.

Important for the provision of nesting and feeding sites for game birds and some passerines, many species of buttertfly, grasshoppers and plant bugs.

Some arable field margins merge with hedgebanks