A negative relationship between the intensity of farming and the densities of birds breeding on farmland was found across Europe and reported here:
In other words, bird populations tend to be lower in more intensive farmland.
This has been true in practice, to date, across Europe, but can the relationship be broken: is it possible to maintain high yields and increase the population densities of birds nesting on farmland? Can high-yield farming also be wildlife-friendly – or at least farmland bird friendly? Work by the RSPB at Hope Farm (a conventional ‘intensive’ farm at which the RSPB is testing the response by birds to various bird-friendly management techniques) suggests that bird populations can indeed be increased in intensive farmland. If this is generally true, can we have the best of all worlds: high-yield farmland, supporting good populations of farmland-associated wildlife, and land spared for species unable to persist without conflict on farmland?