Birds, plants thrive on UK organic farms - study

04 August 2005

LONDON: Birds, bats and wild plants are thriving on Britain's organic farms, a study by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) says.

On organic farms, there are 109 per cent more wild plants and 85 per cent more plant species than on non-organic farms.

Organic farms support 32 per cent more birds and 35 per cent more bats than non-organic farms, the BTO, a charity carrying out independent research on birds, said.

There are also 5 per cent more bird species on organic farms, according to the study which was funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Smaller fields and thicker hedges on organic farms and the fact that these farms don't use agrochemicals are all contributory factors, the study found.

"Organic farms clearly have positive biodiversity effects for wild flowers. However if they are to provide benefits on the same scale for species that need more space, like birds, we either need the farms to be larger or for neighbouring farms to be organic too," Dr Rob Fuller, director of Habitat Research for the BTO said.

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