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To provide costed options for the management of species- rich grassland - BD0301

Current grassland management practices are aimed at producing high yields of grass and optimum levels of animal output by use of high fertiliser inputs and intensive grazing management; this has resulted in approximately 90% of intensively farmed grassland in England and Wales being dominated by perennial grassland. Encouragement of species diversity in grassland will necessitate changes to management techniques which favour the preferred species; however, these changes may reduce overall grass yield and consequent animal output/profitability. This study will aim to provide costed options and analyse potential reduction in profitability from species diverse grass, compared with conventional systems. Physical and financial consequences of maintaining species rich pasture will be quantified, while ways in which indigenous wild flowers and grasses may be effectively established will be determined. Effects of seed mixtures on the optimum establishment technique thus selected will be compared and influence of management techniques on plant diversity will be evaluated. Results of the study will provide further information on the problems associated with establishment and utilisation of indigenous species of grass and wild flowers. This could have implications for other scientific areas such as germination requirements of individual species.
To quantify physical and financial consequences of maintaining species rich pasture; To determine effective methods of establishment of indigenous wild flowers/grasses; To compare the effect of management techniques on the diversity of plant species
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1995

Cost: £429,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship