These newly published survey results show that greater numbers of hedgehogs were found on amenity grassland than on pasture. I have found similar results during my surveys. If the study was to include arable land I suspect that there would be even less numbers found on arable land than on pasture, due to lower availability of earthworms and other invertebrates.
Care must be taken as it is easier to spot hedgehogs on mowed grass than on pasture. Radio-tracking of hedgehogs in rural areas can establish whether pasture is truly being under-utilised. Also, hedgehogs may be more likely select open farmland over urban areas when badgers are not present (see https://www.hedgelink.org.uk/files/1978_hedgehogs-_hof_et_al_animbehav2012_food_or_fear.pdf). Therefore, if these surveys were conducted in other areas of the country with lower badger density the results may not be so pronounced.
A hedgehog survey was conducted in four regions of west and south-west England during the summer of 2006. In each region, surveys were conducted in a series of 15–18 survey areas each of which contained 1–4 paired amenity grassland (recreation ground, sports field, and village green) and permanent pasture survey sites.The occurrence of hedgehogs on pasture (2 % of fields) was much lower than that on amenity grassland (26 % of fields), resulting in mean densities of hedgehogs that were significantly greater on amenity grassland than on pasture in all four regions.