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The diversity of meadows and how to create your own patch

Updated Friday, 21st May 2021

Meadows are beautiful habitats, that have developed over many hundreds of years, but are now one of the rarest grassland types in the UK.

 

Photo of field with flowers Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: © Clare Lawson Species-rich meadow

They are the product of a traditional low-input farming system involving hay-cuts and grazing. They were documented throughout the country by the Domesday Book of 1086, when they were vital for providing hay as winter feed for animals. This traditional management resulted in the distinctive character of the meadows we see today

Over the past eighty years, there has been a widespread transformation in farming practices from traditional low-input management to more intensive agricultural systems involving inorganic fertilisers and a switch from hay to silage production. These changes have reduced the diversity of the countryside. The expansion of urban development has further contributed to the loss of habitat.  

 

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