The field margin has agricultural, environmental and wildlife attributes, aspects of which may be exploited for more sustainable production and for environmental benefits. The rapid change from one habitat to another forms an ecotone, which may support particular species and may buffer the movement of agrochemicals, water, and soil erosion. Studies of the flora and fauna of field margins in a range of European countries, farming systems and landscapes demonstrated that a range of factors are important in influencing the abundance and diversity of species. Field margins were shown to increase the diversity and abundance of insects, especially if they were both botanically and structurally diverse. Disturbance, particularly in form of fertilizer and herbicide contamination, has adverse effects on diversity of the perennial flora of field margins. Plants of the margin can forage into the arable area over short distances. At the landscape scale, boundary structure, land-use, location and the management of the boundary affect the shrub and herbaceous flora.