OpenFields

1493: Wild-flower meadows

This paper is taken from Animal Briefs, an initiative of The British Society of Animal Science and has been prepared by Jerry Tallowin of Rothamsted Research

Year of Publication2012

Lowland semi-natural grasslands support 18% of UK Biodiversity Action Plan species. Over 80% of lowland and upland wild-flower meadows are less than 5ha, making them critically small for populations of vulnerable plants and insects. Wild-flower meadows depend on low soil fertility and low levels of agricultural disturbance, such as gentle grazing by cattle. DEFRA has encouraged the science of restoration and management of grasslands but there has been little work in finding ways to optimise and integrate them into sustainable livestock systems.

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