Author Archives: Martin

Bringing Ancient Grasslands into the heart of our towns and cities.

A decline in insect numbers, children losing touch with nature, adults in total ignorance of their local cultural heritage, and local government cutbacks. What can we do to help? In 2016 Natural England published its Conservation 21 strategy  ( ) … Continue reading

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Before I start on the Defra reply, here is a short explanation which will help you see why what might seem to be a semantic quibble later on is actually crucial to knowing how much Lowland Meadow habitat exists. When … Continue reading

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Available data

I got an answer to my questions about implementing the new grassland SSSI designation guidelines from Natural England on 23 March. Replies are normally meant to arrive within 15 working days; I sent the first email on 31st January. Anyway, … Continue reading

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All examples of MG5 over 0.5 ha can now be designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) so why hasn’t that happened?

On 26th January I went to visit a site I first surveyed in 2007 as part of a Local Wildlife Site review; I went because I had been informed it had been recently damaged by the landowner. There are records … Continue reading

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A proposal for dating ancient neutral grassland (MG5) communities using indicator species

The Natural England Technical Information Note TIN147 on MG5 is a fantastic summary of all things MG5 and much recommended reading. I’ve been thinking about historical context on my latest blogs and the Note states that the plant community … Continue reading

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Documenting ancient grassland loss – a short-ish review.

I haven’t read through all available papers/reports on grassland loss  (a lot of the science is behind a paywall despite being publicly funded) but I’ve collated enough to give an overview here. Also …it’s complicated, so has been tricky to … Continue reading

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Defining Ancient Grassland

I’ve been emailing different people at different government departments about the recording of ancient grassland (and also chatting to conservation charities) when I’ve had time. I just email a question and ask if it can be answered – please forward … Continue reading

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