From hay meadows to road verges, grasslands require just one thing – cutting at the right time! OK, maybe ‘just one thing’ is an exaggeration but making sure you know when and how to cut your grasslands will bring enormous benefits.
Explore the numerous links below to find out how best to improve your grasslands for wildlife or create brand new meadows brimming with wildlife.
There’s also a special section on verges to help guide you and your community through the process of taking on management of our local roadside verges for the benefit of wildlife.
As always, before you start taking action, first get to understand the type and condition of the grasslands you have. Have a look at our Discover page to find out more about surveying and identification.
Moor Meadows is a fantastic community initiative whose members are interested in conserving, restoring and creating wildflower meadows, from a meadow in the garden to many acres in the landscape. The initiative began on Dartmoor but is quickly spreading across the county. If you at all interested in meadows please join them!
A simple step by step guide about how to manage your lawn in a more wildlife-sensitive way but this can be applied to any grassland such as a village green, public park or churchyard.
An easy read guide outlining how to go about restoring an area of grassland or a meadow for wildlife.
This meadow management toolkit is very extensive, providing lots of links to information on managing grasslands.
Creating new meadows
A simple step by step guide about how to create a new wildflower meadow in an area not currently occupied by grassland.
This page outlines the four main methods for restoring or creating a new meadow with downloadable PDF documents filled with plenty of detailed information. There are also two useful case studies to provide inspiration.
Verges can have huge wildlife value and are often remnants of species rich unimproved grasslands. We have approximately 2000 hectares of road verge across Devon (excluding verges managed by Highways England). If managed appropriately our verges (along with adjacent habitats such as hedges, trees and ditches) can provide interconnected wildlife corridors across the county supporting a wealth of wildlife including plants, bees, butterflies, bats and reptiles.
Devon County Council is responsible for the majority of road verges across Devon and, where safe to do so, is encouraging community groups to get involved in their management. Find out more about their Life on the Verge initiative.