Effect of sward type and management on diversity of upland birds

James Edward Vale, Mariecia D. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A four-year experiment is quantifying the economic and environmental impacts of (a) mixed grazing of sheep with cattle, and (b) the removal of cattle from mixed systems on improved permanent pasture to graze Molinia-dominant semi-natural rough grazing (SNRG) during the summer months. Each of the treatments has been designed to be self-sufficient in terms of winter forage, and includes areas for silage preparation. As part of this study regular bird surveys are being carried out throughout the year on a total of 26 experimental plots. On each occasion the number of birds interacting with each experimental plot is recorded. The plots surveyed contain swards managed in three different ways: (1) ryegrass/white clover-dominant improved permanent pasture grazed by livestock throughout the growing season (n=10); (2) improved permanent pasture grazed in spring, then closed-up in May for one cut of silage, followed by aftermath grazing (n=10); (3) Molinia caerulea-dominant semi-natural
rough grazing (SNRG) grazed by cattle from June to September (n=6). There was seasonal variation in the frequency of sightings and number of birds recorded utilising each pasture type. Different functional groups interacted in different ways with the sward types included in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventBGS/BES/BSAS Conference, University of Keele - Staffordshire, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 17 Apr 200719 Apr 2007


ConferenceBGS/BES/BSAS Conference, University of Keele
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Period17 Apr 200719 Apr 2007


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