Neutral Grassland Restoration
Neutral Grassland (also known as Hay Meadow) can range from species poor, “Improved” grassland. Typically dominated by species such as Perennial Ryegrass and White Clover that has received much chemical input, it may also have been ploughed and seeded. To species‐rich, ‘Unimproved Neutral Grassland’.
Species‐rich Neutral Grassland is, rich in floral diversity and often has a very “flowery” appearance. Typical flowers include Yellow Rattle, Ox‐eye Daisy, Common Knapweed, Birds‐foot Trefoil and some orchid species. The Hay Meadows are frequently alive with insects during the spring and summer and have birds such as Swallows feeding on this abundance of food.
Species‐rich Neutral Grasslands, which you can justifiably feel proud to own, are a superb resource for wildlife as well as being of great visual appeal. Sadly species‐rich neutral grassland is an increasingly rare habitat with a shocking 97% lost in the UK between 1930‐1984. Losses are still ongoing. It is imperative that this decline is halted. We are able to assist in achieving this goal with our restoration consultancy service.
Well-managed grass provides a cost-effective, high quality feed for sheep and cattle. With farms under increasing pressure to reduce costs and maximise outputs, good grassland management can play a vital role. Helping to maximise feed quality and to improve growth rates of livestock. Good grassland management starts with the soil. Its impact is felt right through to the eating quality of the final product by the consumer.
To optimise land performance all ecosystem processes need to be maximised; working with the whole. The food web needs all of it’s key players for it to sustainably provide it’s best performance. To do that we must take nature’s lead.
Restoration of Neutral Grassland
Measures can be taken to restore areas of grassland that are not currently of particularly high ecological value. This can be achieved by converting species poor “semi‐improved” grassland (species poor, probably formerly quite intensively farmed with applications of chemicals) to more species‐rich “semi‐improved” grassland.
Initial Survey – includes:
- A thorough baseline survey which estimates othe cover of each species; carried out at the right time of year.
- Assessment of the relative abundance of important indicator species, both positive and negative.
- Soil testing (NPK) and soil PH.
- Survey results then guide a programme of phased introduction of key species.
For more information or a quote please Contact Us
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The Permaculture Association works to radically and positively change the way we live in the UK and actively supports a worldwide movement.