|How do I know if a meadow or pasture is valuable for wildlife?|
The richest grasslands are those that have been managed in the traditional way for many decades without agricultural improvements (e.g. inorganic fertilisers). These are known as un-improved or species rich grasslands. In addition to un-improved, there are two other grassland types, which are agriculturally improved and semi-improved.
Just by spending a few minutes looking at your grassland, you will notice that it is composed of grasses and herbs of different shapes, sizes and colours. The presence of these species will give you an indication of the type of grassland you have.
Agriculturally improved grassland – modified for agriculture and have the least amount of wildlife associated with them
Semi-improved grassland – these habitats have received some form of agricultural improvement but to a lesser extent than agriculturally improved grasslands. They still retain some good numbers of grasses and valuable wildflowers which are important for bumblebees and many other insects.
Un-improved (species rich) grassland – these are ancient habitats supporting many kinds of grasses and wildflowers, including some scarce plants and animals.