Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Study Reveals Birds Flock To Green Lanes


Green lanes(1) are significantly more attractive to birds than your average hedgerow, according to the findings of new research from Staffordshire University.

The study was conducted by PhD student Mike Walker who carried out the research in Cheshire over three years.

Mike found green lanes had almost treble the number of bird species as hedgerows. As green lanes are made of two parallel hedges he compared the abundance of birds in 50 metres of green lane with 100 metres of hedgerow; amazingly there were almost double the number of birds in green lanes.

For the purpose of the study a green lane was defined as an unmetalled(2) track bordered on each side by a hedgerow running through farmland and used by farm vehicles, livestock or horses and measuring between two and 15 metres in width.

During the sampling period 39 species of bird were recorded on green lanes and 27 species were recorded on single hedgerows. There were also significantly greater numbers of all birds recorded in green lanes than single hedgerows.

Mike, who was supported by the University’s Institute for Environment and Sustainability Research, said: “Perhaps the most striking finding is the massive increase in both the numbers and kind of birds we have seen on green lanes.

“Common birds have been declining on farmland so it is really good news to have found that such a simple structure as a green lane can have such a benefit. Many of the birds we have been seeing are typical of woodland edge and green lanes may resemble this habitat more closely than single hedgerows.”

The findings re-enforce the case to protect green lanes, which are not yet recognised as special landscape features and which are only afforded loose protection under current hedgerow regulations.

In his paper entitled ‘Birds and green lanes: Breeding season bird abundance, territories and species richness’ Mike talks of the need to preserve the “unsealed nature” of green lanes while at the same time maintaining usage to prevent “scrubbing up and the eventual formation of linear woodland.”

Senior lecturer in Ecology, Dr John Dover, who has lead much of the research carried out on green lanes, said: “We know from earlier studies that vegetation is better in green lanes and that butterflies and bumble bees are more abundant.”

“However the findings of this latest research are so significant I’m tempted to use the word stonking. It makes it very clear that we should retain green lanes and manage them sympathetically. There is also a case for creating new ones.”

John said that as well as the obvious benefit to wildlife, there might be implications for the farming community as green lanes, like beetle banks(3), might act as reservoirs or havens for natural biological control agents such as predatory beetles, bugs and hoverflies helping to reduce the reliance on insecticides.

He added: “In order to uncover their role as promoters of green pest control we need to do more research.”

Mike’s paper is published in the journal Biological Conservation volume 126, pages 540-547 available online at

Maria Scrivens | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>