Last updated 24 March 2021
Following our declaration of a climate emergency in March 2019, the conservation of this important and valuable habitat type is more important than ever.
Meadows and species rich grasslands can support a huge range of wildlife including:
- wildflowers and fungi
- bees, flies, beetles, spiders, moths, butterflies
- reptiles and amphibians
- small mammals
- bats and birds
Since the 1930s, they've declined by 97% due to habitat loss and intensive agriculture.
These habitats now cover less than 1% of the UK. More rare and threatened species are associated with grasslands than any other habitat type. They need targeted conservation action now.
Our aims for the wildflower grasslands are to:
- improve biodiversity
- help link up habitats and provide ‘corridors’ for wildlife to move between
- provide important habitats for pollinators. For example; bees and butterflies
- help to store carbon
- play an important role in helping to prevent flooding by taking up excess rainfall
- encourage connection with nature and be open and free for the public to enjoy
- encourage community involvement and give opportunities to learn new skills
- be an educational resource for local schools
Creating and improving wildflower grassland needs careful preparation and management. Intensively managed grasslands tend to have nutrient rich soils. This means that over time, stronger growing grasses and weeds will out-compete wildflowers.
Wildflower grasslands are generally cut once a year to mimic a ‘hay cut’ and can sometimes appear untidy and neglected. This habitat though is important for wildlife, and waiting until late summer before cutting gives the wildflowers chance to set seed, making sure there are flowers for the next season.
Our long term aim is to provide at least one wildflower grassland within every ward area for the local community to enjoy.
If you'd like to help look after a local wildflower grassland, or get involved in any way, contact the local Friends of Group. You can also call the Arboriculture Team on 0161 217 6111 or email email@example.com