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Birds, Bats, & Wild Plants Thriving on Organic Farms

Birds, plants thrive on UK organic farms -study
Aug 3, 9:46 AM ET

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

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

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

There are also 5 percent 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 neighboring farms to be organic too," Dr Rob Fuller,
director of Habitat Research for the BTO said.

Just three percent of English farmland is organic, he added.

The Soil Association, which promotes organic farming, also welcomed the
study. "A greater area of organically-managed land in the UK would help
restore the farmland wildlife that has been lost from our countryside in
recent decades with intensive farming," Soil Association policy manager
Gundula Azeez said.

The data was collected from 160 farms.