Monday, 28 April 2014

Save our Vanishing Grasslands

Grasslands are beautiful and valuable habitats that are an important part of our natural heritage.

Wildlife-rich grasslands are vital natural resources: for bees and other pollinators, and for an abundance of nature that depends on wild grasses and flowers - from butterflies to barn owls
They have inspired people for centuries and are just as essential to our economy and well-being as ancient forests, our seas and all the other critical habitats on which we depend.  
Wildlife-rich grasslands are vital natural resources: for bees and other pollinators, and for an abundance of nature that depends on wild grasses and flowers - from butterflies to barn owls.  They help protect our rivers from pollution, hold together healthy soils that store carbon, and enable landscapes to retain water to reduce flooding.  High quality pastoral produce – such as beef and lamb- comes from livestock that graze species-rich grasslands or feed on the forage from hay meadows in the winter. 
But our wildlife-rich grasslands are vanishing – and the wildlife that depends on them is under threat.
The Wildlife Trusts have been collecting information on the state of locally important grasslands in England – sites like ancient meadows, traditional pastures and road verges – all of which provide vital space for nature.
The information we have so far makes depressing reading and we are now launching a campaign calling for a halt to this catastrophic decline.  Some sites have gone altogether, lost to development or ploughing.  Many more have deteriorated to such an extent that the wildlife that make them special has simply disappeared and they have been “de-selected” as Local Wildlife Sites, meaning there is not enough special habitat left to justify keeping the Local Wildlife Site designation.
Wildlife Trusts and charities like Plantlife are working with farmers and landowners to care for these special places (for example on projects like Save Our Magnificent Meadows and Coronation Meadows) but the pace of decline is faster than the rate at which these habitats can be restored.

Take action for grasslands and sign our e-petition

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wildflower Meadow Network

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust secures Heritage Lottery Fund support for Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadow Network

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Following the successful Life on the Verge project, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has received a grant of £76,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the new Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadows Network project.
The project will inspire local communities to create and restore wildflower meadows, developing a network of wildflower-rich meadows through Lincolnshire’s rolling hills in the south-west of the county, the Lincoln Edge and the Lincolnshire Wolds. 
Wildflower Meadow Project Officer, Mark Schofield, said “Wildflower meadows have been in decline for decades but through the Trust’s hugely successful Life on the Verge project we discovered that important, previously un-recorded, meadows are present in Lincolnshire. We wish to develop these into a network of meadows and flower-rich road verges by engaging local communities and private landowners to create and restore wildflower meadows.”
The Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadow Network project will inspire, involve and train volunteers in wildflower meadow creation and management by establishing demonstration sites, community projects, holding events and training days. Local wildflower seed and green hay will be collected from Trust nature reserves including our Coronation Meadow Red Hill for use on project sites. Guidance manuals on meadow creation and management will be developed for the Trust’s website.
Head of Conservation at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Caroline Steel, said “Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has a good track record in terms of management, restoration and creation of wildlife-rich grassland. On our own land, we have successfully created new areas of wildflower meadow adjacent to existing nature reserves such as the Coronation Meadow at Red Hill. We are excited that through this new project we will be able to expand this work over the next three years; working with local communities and landowners to restore and create wildflower meadows.”

First published by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.