Growing long grass generally reduces numbers of birds prone to bird-strike thus provides an effective component of non-lethal bird control measures on airfields in the UK

  • Published source details Brough T. & Bridgman C.J. (1980) An evaluation of long grass as a bird deterrent on British airfields. Journal of Applied Ecology, 17, 243-253


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Scare or otherwise deter birds from airports

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Scare or otherwise deter birds from airports

    A replicated study in the UK (Brough & Bridgman 1980) found that fewer birds used grass on Royal Air Force airfields when it was allowed to grow long, compared to when it was kept short. In 1967-1968, ten English airfields were included, with data from 1972-1973 available for three more airfields (including one in Scotland and one in Wales). Grass was kept 15-20 cm high in some areas whilst others were maintained at 5-10 cm. The repellent effect of long grass was almost 100% for gulls Larus spp. and golden plover Pluvialis apricaria, and very good for northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Eurasian oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus and crows (rook Corvus frugilegus, carrion crow C. corone, Eurasian jackdaw C. monedula).


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