Management of UK Lowland Grassland Habitats

 

Given the threats to lowland grassland habitats, it is usually necessary to undertake some form of management to improve or maintain their condition. There are a number of sources of information to guide such action, examples of which are outlined below.

 

Management guidance and best practice

 

Longhorn

Lowland Grassland Management Handbook

The Wildlife Trusts and English Nature (now Natural England) published The Lowland Grassland Management Handbook in 1999, in conjunction with the Countryside Council for Wales (now part of Natural Resources Wales) and Scottish Natural Heritage. This provides a comprehensive guide to practical management of neutral, calcareous and acid grasslands.

 

Lowland Grassland Habitat Management for Invertebrates

Buglife has produced guidance for the management of UK BAP Priority Habitats for invertebrates, including: Lowland meadows, Upland hay meadows, Lowland calcareous grassland, Lowland dry acid grassland and Purple moor grass and rush pastures.

 

Habitat Management Search Engine

A rush hay crop in county Fermanagh © Mark Wright, NIEA

JNCC has developed a customised search engine, Habitat Management on the Web, which is designed to direct users to information about how to manage UK terrestrial and freshwater habitats for biodiversity conservation.

 

Annex I Management Models

The European Commission has published Management Models for Annex I Habitats, including some lowland grassland examples. Each document includes information on the distribution, ecological requirements of the habitat, main trends and threats. Relevant management actions and prescriptions are described in detail. Main constraints, risks and modifiers of the proposed management have been also included. Finally, relevant parameters for cost estimates, cost estimate examples and potential sources of EU financing are illustrated.