Grassland and meadow habitats are incredibly diverse. Any area of long grass left undisturbed will rapidly become a refuge for all manner of wildlife.
Mammals such as voles, shrews, harvest mice and hedgehogs can forage and nest in the dense cover. Reptiles like common lizards, slow worms, adders and grass snakes enjoy both the shelter and warmth that grassy areas have to offer, particularly when they receive the morning sun. Amphibians like frogs, toads and newts will find sanctuary low down in the cool moist vegetation, and can spend the winter tucked away in these places when they are away from their freshwater breeding grounds. Birds of prey such as kestrels and barn owls depend on large areas of rough vegetation to hunt for food (species of small mammals like bank voles).
When it comes to invertebrates the list is almost endless. Bumblebees not only forage for nectar in meadows, but several species will nest in long grass too. Grasshoppers, crickets and specialist beetles like glow-worms can be found in grassland. Long grass alone will support many species of butterflies, such as meadow brown, ringlet, several skipper species and small heath for example, but when varied and diverse wildflowers are also present, the butterfly species increase hugely. Meadow specialists such as marbled white and dark green fritillary can be found, and on chalk and limestone habitats species such as chalkhill and adonis blue may be present too.
With a little planning, wildflower meadows and species rich grassland can be created almost anywhere. The geographical location and underlying soil type will dictate exactly what species you may be able to support.
As well as creating and managing grassland and meadows, we regularly convert existing lawns into meadows, providing habitat instantly, in both urban and rural areas. If you wish to create a wildflower meadow or a colourful patch of cornfield annnuals in your back garden, or encourage reptiles into tussock grassland, we are here to help.
If you have any questions or want to discuss your site's potential and local wildlife's needs, get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.
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