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Nature-friendly farming does not reduce productivity, study finds

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Putting farmland aside for nature does not have a negative effect on food security, a study has found.A 10-year project by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology revealed that nature-friendly farming methods boost biodiversity without reducing average yields.Scientists spent a decade intensively monitoring the impacts of a large government-funded experiment at Hillesden, a 1,000-hectare commercial arable farm in Buckinghamshire.

Beginning in 2005, this involved creating several wildlife habitats, including seed-bearing plants for birds, wildflowers for pollinators and tussocky grass margins to support a range of birds, insects and small mammals.In the longest-running study of its kind, researchers succeeded in boosting numbers of wildlife essential for agricultural production such as pollinators and predators of crop pests.

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