Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




Causes of reduction of wildlife value of cereal crops

The wildlife value of cereal crops is reduced by:

Campaign for the Farmed Environment which aims to help

farmers support the natural environment, whilst farming productively.

Legal protection

There is no specific legal protection for arable field margins supporting notable wildlife.

However, many such species which use farmland including arable fields and their margins are protected by law, eg from disturbance during nesting.

Under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 it is illegal to spray pesticides into hedge bases unless there is a specific label recommendation or off-label approval.

Under the current procedures for pesticide registration and review, some compounds have statutory label exemptions preventing their use on the outermost 6m wide strips of crops.

These restrictions are designed to prevent over-spraying of water courses and protect non-cropped habitats.


RSPB Advice for farmers:

General including beetle banks, headlands,

Arable field margins

Plantlife: Managing arable land


Farming Hub

Advice on managing cereal crop margins

Defra / Natural England

Environmental Land Management

Margins & blocks for arable plants

Beetle banks

Cereal field margins –climate change


Beetle banks


There are opportunities in Barnsley for creating and maintaining additional arable field margins - as well as infield areas in arable fields - as positive conservation measures to help to support key farmland wildlife species.

Factors affecting benefits of arable field margins:

The Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) may promote new arable field margins as previous schemes have done. There are also payments available for Pollen and Nectar or Wild bird seed mixture land use.

Arable field margin seeded with wild flowers

Arable Field Margins Conservation

Sunnflowers at side of arbale field