Ancient Grassland Indicators

I was asked by a volunteer to look at a Local Wildlife Site, designated for its native grassland species, which had been destroyed by the landowner and discovered that there was virtually nothing I could do to prevent this happening again elsewhere; I was livid that a landowner could do such a thing. I reasoned that the only way to protect my patch was to change how we as a society value our historically and culturally important Ancient Grasslands through the way our elected representatives legislate and fund their protection at both a national and regional level.

These blogs are my investigations: The more I find out, the more livid I am at what is happening.

Year of Green Action – the work of Natural England is 2/5 as important to this government as it was to the 2009 government.

Collecting Data – there is no way of knowing at a national level whether National Priority Habitats are being destroyed year on year and more depressing facts of a similar nature.

Keeping Count – HS2 Phase One and 2a will destroy about 1% of England’s National Priority Habitat Lowland Meadow

Struggling – why do we have 158,993 ha of Upland Heathland SSSI, but only 845 ha of Upland Hay Meadow? and other vexed issues of a failing and under-funded SSSI designation system.

Bringing Ancient Grasslands into the heart of our towns and cities. – a really sensible solution to connecting urban people with their local culturally important ancient grasslands whilst saving money on management of road verges.

Estimates –  an official reply from Defra explaining what the extent of National Priority Habitat Lowland Meadow in England is and co-incidentally that it disagrees completely with another figure of extent that they publish

Available data – establishing that the government’s data-set on unimproved grassland is incomplete and wrong in my area and some of the national figures for extent differ

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?

A proposal for dating ancient neutral grassland (MG5) communities using indicator species – a theory and mechanism by which indicator species can used to differentiate  pre- and post- Enclosure unimproved neutral grassland communities

Documenting ancient grassland loss – a short-ish review

Defining Ancient Grassland – a scientific definition of ancient grassland

The Curious Incidence of the Knapweed in the Meadow – common knapweed flowers later than a normal hay-cut is taken, so how is it still present?

Medieval Grassland on Road Verges and where to find it

Rural Road Verge Links – list of UK projects on management or surveys of rural road verges

Why is no-one sciencing urban road verges? – bemoaning the lack of scientific studies on creating and managing native species-rich grassland in urban areas

We should talk about Ancient Grassland – how we discuss native grassland plant communities will affect the importance with which people view them

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