A collaboration of coast and countryside organisations on The Lizard Peninsula

Professors Balmford's research group has consistently found that land sparing is more effective in allowing greater numbers of sensitive species with small home ranges to survive. This is due to the rapid decline seen in numbers with even minimal disturbances, meaning that only areas completely free from farming are able to host such wildlife. Tractors collecting grassOf course, Professor Balmford stresses that the findings are only truly representative for the areas in which the studies were done, but the potential shift from the current well integrated with nature farming system found on the Lizard to one of high intensity could provide a major change for farmers.

Despite common perceptions, farmers are in fact well used to change, particularly in the way they run their farms. With the rate of technological improvement to equipment, and even breedingmethods, farmers have to alter their style simply to stay economically viable.

While the research discussed here looks at projected change by 2050, it is vital we assess the potential opportunities now simply to keep up with human growth. What better place to try and work out the relationship between farming and wildlife in England than an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as the Lizard?

Published: Dec 2015
Author: Owen Greenwood – MRes student (and Assistant Lab Manager)