Whilst modern intensive grassland cannot compare in
wildlife terms to our forefathers' low yielding fields, neither are they devoid of
wildlife. Modern grasslands provide a feast for herbivores such as Roe Deer (left).
Other animals including rabbits and voles also take
advantage of the grass. They in turn are predated upon by animals such as stoats, foxes
and buzzards. At night, badgers can often be seen foraging for dung beetles and earthworms
which are their favourite food. Badger populations are high as a consequence. When
conditions are right during the daytime, earthworms will come to the surface. Often, this
will attract large numbers of Buzzards and they can be be seen waddling across the field,
in pursuit of this unlikely prey.
Field sizes have increased over the years. This has
resulted in the loss of many valuable wildlife habitats such as woodlands and wet meadows
as well as thousands of miles of hedgerows. Few animals have benefited from this habitat
loss. Nevertheless, animals such as Hares prefer larger fields although their habitat
requirements are more complex than just the need for sizeable fields.