This project will support the implementation of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for coastal and floodplain grazing marsh. Areas of high existing and potential conservation value will be identified which are representative of national conditions in terms of soil, climate, farming systems, and landscape and fragmentation. Grassland and livestock management, habitat features and bird usage of marshes will be characterized at the levels of individual marshes and whole farm systems. Baseline information on the extent and nature of grazing grass, and bird populations will be collated; aerial photography and remote sensing information will also be used, where available. For each marsh, full details of past and current management will be sought and particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of marshes in the farm business. Each marsh will be visited and habitat features (including surface features, extent of semi-natural rill systems, extent of standing water, wetness of rills/furrows, frequency and size of tussocks, and sward height), and bird species and numbers will be recorded. Predictive models will be developed and tested which will allow the physical and management variables affecting bird populations to be prioritised, criteria for targeting support to be recommended, and a range of management guidelines to be developed. Models will describe the relationship between grazing/management regime, site factors and selection by birds.