New research shows that even organic farms need to increase the number of habitats available to sustain farmland biodiversity. Habitat heterogeneity is the key to a healthy countryside. To use hedgehogs as an example, a wide variety of habitats are required by hedgehogs, including scrub and hedgerows to hide and nest in, grassy margins and wormy pasture fields for foraging, and areas of long grass for refuge. And this is just for one species! To sustain farmland biodiversity we need to think of a much more diverse landscape, rather than the homogeny that we often see, including on organic farms.
Organic farming fosters biodiversity. At least that's the theory. In practice, however, the number of habitats on the land plays an important role alongside the type and intensity of farming practices. These are the findings of an international study that looked at 10 regions in Europe and two in Africa. The study shows that even organic farms have to actively support biodiversity by, for example, conserving different habitats on their holdings.