The impact of landscape and adjacent land cover upon linear boundary features

A Cherrill, C McClean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The condition of over 200 km of traditional drystone walls was surveyed within 115 km(2) in lowland, marginal upland and upland landscapes in northern England. The land covers adjacent to walls were also recorded. Of the total length of walls surveyed, 12.6% were in disrepair. The condition of the walls differed between landscapes and was also related to the type of vegetation in the adjacent enclosure. Walls enclosing conifer plantations and unimproved rough grazing were in poor condition reflecting historical and recent changes in their roles as livestock barriers and markers of ownership. The effect of other land covers on the condition of walls was not consistent between landscapes. Using drystone walls as a simple model system suggests that the condition of linear features in general may often be determined by both the adjacent land cover and the landscape in which the features occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalLandscape ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • linear habitats
  • drystone walls
  • land cover
  • boundaries
  • edge effects

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