Arable Field Margins

What is it?

Arable field margins are vegetation managed for wildlife in strips or blocks around the edges of arable fields in the enclosed agricultural lowlands.

Sometimes the plants they support are sown deliberately in order to provide seed for wild birds, or to provide pollen and nectar for invertebrates. The habitat does not include set-aside, biomass crops, organic crops or over-wintered stubbles although these may have some biodiversity benefit anyway.

What’s special about it?

Within the intensively managed agricultural lowlands, this habitat can be an important refuge for feeding and breeding birds, various mammals, and for insects including butterflies and bugs in an otherwise relatively poor habitat.

How do we benefit?

This habitat provides homes for species that pollinate flowers and crops. The value of pollinators to UK agriculture is conservatively estimated at £440m per annum.

How could development affect it?

• This habitat is managed deliberately for its wildlife value. Loss of the agricultural land to development or afforestation would mean loss of this habitat.

Find out more>>

UKBAP list of priority habitats

Scottish Natural Heritage