Grasslands

A Worcestershire meadowA Worcestershire meadow (c) Steve Bloomfield

It is a little known fact that Worcestershire is the lowland county in England with the highest proportion of its land area still under flower-rich meadows and pastures.

Despite high national losses of this semi-natural, traditionally farmed habitat, due to agricultural improvement and intensification since the Second World War, figures in the county habitat action plan show that Worcestershire retains around 20% of the country’s total of herb-rich meadows on neutral soils - clays and clay-loams.

Our nature reserves include some of the best examples in the UK of traditionally managed lowland hay-meadows.  These include The Knapp and Papermill and the Penorchard complex which, at 14 hectares, ranks among the larger continuous tracts of unimproved meadow in the County.

Grassland restoration & management

Old traditional grasslands and ridge & furrow meadows are still under considerable threat from agricultural improvement by use of chemical fertilisers and over-intensive grazing as well as through unfortunate side effects of intensive horse keeping.

We are working closely with partners, including Natural England, and individual landowners to influence land-management through agri-environmental schemes and local initiatives such as our Bow Brook Living Landscape Project.

The overall aim is to foster a balanced pattern of traditional low-intensity pastoral land-use within a modern economically-flourishing countryside.

Restoring Worcestershire's Grasslands

Restoring Worcestershire’s Grasslands (RWG) aims to reverse the ecological decline of over 115ha of formerly wildlife-rich grasslands at 21 strategic Local Wildlife Sites in the county.

Funded by SITA Trust, aSITA Trust logot each site, RWG is working with landowners to deliver a tailored programme of capital works to reverse the declining wildlife value of these UK BAP Priority Habitats.  At the same time we're building ecosystem resilience within Worcestershire BAP Partnership’s Large Areas network. To do this, we will re-instate grassland management techniques such as grazing and hay-making as well as green hay spreading, scrub clearance, ditching and fencing.

Working with landowners and volunteers, RWG will deliver demonstrable benefits for grassland wildlife, leaving a legacy of knowledge and enthusiasm for conserving Worcestershire’s grassland heritage.

Further information

For more information you might like to download the following guides or visit the Flora Locale website.

Downloads

FilenameFile size
Grasslands - A Landowner's Guide.pdf6.29 MB
Grasslands & Local Wildlife Sites.pdf1.4 MB