The aims of this Defra funded project were to assess whether breeding success on fallow plots under Environmental Stewardship (ES) was higher than on non ES spring crops and to determine whether breeding success and chick survival was sufficient to maintain stable or increasing lapwing populations at a landscape scale. If this was not the case to identify which factors have most influence on productivity, to ensure that future ES targeting and management maximizes breeding success.
This project produced the following outputs:
The results of this study indicate that fallow plots currently act to increase lapwing hatching success, but that they have no effect on lapwing chick survival, which was very low. Therefore the benefits of fallow plots to overall productivity are limited and chick survival was not sufficient to maintain a stable population. Highly unusual weather occurred in both years of the study and this may have been one of the causes of low chick survival. The major question that arises out of these results is: are there any changes that could be made to fallow plots that would increase lapwing productivity? The report considers a number of options. Continued collection of data should help indicate what effect weather has on chick survival.