Conserving precious beauty
Grassland whether permanent pasture or rough/hill pasture plays a vital role in supporting biodiversity from micro-organisms to wild flowers to invertebrates to bird life as well as fixing atmospheric carbon and nitrogen into the soil.
However to do this most effectively it requires active management to achieve the right balance. Grassland that is overgrazed, undergrazed or abandoned delivers less of the desired benefits to the environment but the right amount of low intensity grazing by the right breeds allows a greater variety of grass and flower species to compete. This in turn supports a greater variety of invertebrates such as bees, butterflies and moths and the bird life they support.
The UK has lost of 97% of its traditional wildflower meadows since the 1930s massively reducing the diversity of wildflower plants in many areas and having a knock on detrimental effect on the pollinators that used to rely of them. We are trying to restore and manage Carna’s ancient meadowland and provide both beautiful and supportive wildflower rich grassland again.
This will involve:
- Introducing native rare breed cattle for conservation grazing from January 2018
- Removal of grazing throughout the flowering seaon – mid April to August
- Grazing down over winter to prevent dominant species takeover and increase competition for spring
- Some mechanical management where necessary
- Removing damaging invasive species such as Rhododendron and Bracken
These measures will achieve good grassland management resulting in:
- more diversity of grass species
- more diversity of wildflowers
- increased support to insects and pollinators
- increased support to bird and mammal life
Want to help us with this? We are raising funds to help us continue to restore Carna’s ancient meadow and to introduce native rare breed cattle to keep it in top condition.