The Benefit of Field Margins

Providing a variety of wildflowers, grasses and hedgerows along the field margins in this way encourages pollinating insects. Many insects have seen a  decline due to the loss or reduction of their preferred habitat, which has put their survival under threat.

Now conservation, stewardship of the land and agriculture are coming together together to provide spaces for nature, which in turn will benefit our crops and go along way to preventing this decline in pollinating insect numbers.

You may have wondered as you walk past a farmer’s field, why some are allowing their field margins to grow and flourish with assorted grasses, wildflowers, common weeds and small shrubs.

Centuries ago many farms looked just like this, with field margins, marked out with a variety of shrubs, trees and fat unpruned hedgerows, which also provided natural wind breaks for crops. Field margins were also used to mark out areas designated for different crops, but they also gave sheltered nesting areas for birds and protective cover for smaller ground mammals like hedgehogs and field mice.

Image from The Children’s Nature Book. Odhams 1958.

Another benefit of field margins is that they provide a super-highway for insects, birds and small mammals. With access to food and shelter, these birds, animals and insects can travel long distances using these ‘highways’, which sustain them as they travel.

Unfortunately, in our towns and cities, front gardens and roadside verges are disappearing, so just by planting areas with a few shrubs, pollen-laden flowers and edible berries, this will go a long way to keeping our wildlife protected and nourished.

To find out more how Quex Park uses conservation and stewardship of the land to improve the land for years to come, visit our Latest news and articles about Quex Park.

If you would like to join in with our farmers providing more food for nature, and encourage birds, insects and small mammals to your own garden, consider planting pollen and nectar rich seed mixes in areas of your garden.

You can also try cultivating a wildflower area of the garden and planting cherry, hawthorn or blackthorn, to watch the insects gather around the early blossoms.

Our link below, to the Royal Horticultural Society, explains more about how you can create your own mini-wildflower meadow at home in your own garden.