The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes

  • Published source details Coulthard E., McCollin D. & Littlemore J. (2016) The use of hedgerows as flight paths by moths in intensive farmland landscapes. Journal of Insect Conservation, 20, 345-350.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant new hedges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Plant new hedges

    A site comparison study in 2011–2013 on a mixed farm in Northamptonshire, UK (Coulthard et al. 2016) found that the abundance of moths was higher close to hedgerows than further away. The number of moths recorded 1 m from a hedgerow (225 individuals) was higher than the number recorded 5 m (73 individuals) or 10 m (34 individuals) away. Moths observed 1 m from a hedge were more likely to be moving along it (156 individuals) than at right angles (13 individuals) or diagonal (19 individuals) to it, whereas this was not the case for moths recorded 5 or 10 m from the hedge (5 m: along = 30, right angle = 18, diagonal = 11 individuals; 10 m: along = 9, right angle = 11, diagonal = 10 individuals). Across a 600-ha predominantly arable farm, most hedgerows were cut and not laid, but the condition varied from thick and managed to gappy and derelict. On warm nights (>5°C) between May and July 2011–2013, moths were observed for 15 minutes at each of 1, 5 and 10 m away from 13 different hedgerows. The number of moths, and the direction of flight of each individual, was recorded.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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