Meadow Birds

The applied research group on Meadow Birds focuses on teaching, sharing information, setting up practical monitoring systems, and business/revenue models in meadow bird regions. The applied research group on Meadow Birds launched on 1 May 2016, led by Dr. Astrid Manhoudt. The applied research group works by responding to issues as they arise in the region. It works closely with the Animal Management, Animal Husbandry and Business Administration and Agribusiness study programmes, and with secondary vocational (MBO) programmes. As of 1 November 2022, Astrid Manhoudt is no longer working as a professor for the University. Work will continue on projects that are already running while we plan next steps for the applied research group.

The main focus of the applied research group is the improvement of meadow bird management in practice, the efficient and effective organisation of monitoring activities, and the development of revenue models for agriculture. Universities, site managers and agricultural cooperatives already have a wealth of knowledge about meadow bird management. However, there’s often limited knowledge exchange between these stakeholders due to the lack of a common narrative, coordination, and a process of translating knowledge into practical implementation. The applied research group on Meadow Birds is committed to making the sustainable and effective management, organisation and monitoring of meadow bird protection a core part of dairy farming, agricultural collectives and study programmes through collaborative learning and work in the field, teaching and research.


Het lectoraat Weidevogels heeft meerdere actieve onderzoeksprojecten:

Ongoing projects

  • Farmers, Citizens and Wildlife: In spite of years of efforts to protect meadow birds in the Netherlands, their numbers are continuing to drop. Given the small size of the current meadow bird population, the emphasis is on limiting predation. Read more >>
  • Farmland birds: many millions have been spent on grants and research to protect farmland birds, but there’s still no clear evidence that research outcomes are feeding through into the practical management of meadow birds and other farmland birds. This project is translating new research developments into practical measures and building links between them. Read more >>
  • Optimising herb-rich grasslands: the quality of herb-rich grasslands directly affects the ability of meadow birds and farmers to create added value. This project aims to improve our understanding of variations in the quality of herb-rich grasslands. Read more >>

Completed projects

  • Cows and herbs: there’s been growing interest in recent years in the role of herb-rich grasslands in agricultural production and of biodiversity in dairy farming. However, there’s still only limited understanding about how to design and manage herb-rich grasslands, and how the costs and benefits stack up for dairy farming. Read more >>
  • Meadow bird farmers: some farming businesses are more successful than others in managing meadow birds. This project aims to improve our understanding of the work that some farmers put into meadow bird management and what their additional costs are. Read more >>


Everything published by the Meadow Birds applied research group can be found on Greeni, the online library for the green universities of applied sciences.

Knowledge network

  • Anne Jansma, project leader
  • Feitze van der Hoek, lecturer-researcher in Animal Husbandry
  • Imra Klein, research project manager
  • Jelmer van Belle, Animal Management
  • Jan Hania, Business Administration and Agribusiness
  • Goaitske Iepema, Animal Husbandry
  • Marieke Jelsma, lecturer-researcher in Animal Husbandry

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the applied research group, please email [email protected]