18th May 2015

Gullion grasslands in decline

Semi-natural grasslands allow native grassland plants to pass through their full life cycle from ‘seed to seed’, they are not fertilized and have a very basic but specific management. Semi-natural grasslands support a wide range of native flowering plants, grasses, sedges and mosses and they also support a large number of insects and birds.

However since 1930 97% have disappeared!

The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership is on the lookout for donor grasslands. We have identified a number of suitable sites to create semi-natural grasslands and we need seeds from donor sites to sow in the Autumn.

Certain key species are needed, ones that will make the main difference, and we are on the lookout for; yellow rattle, red clover, oxeye daisy, ragged robin, and common knapweed. Other species of note are heath milkwort, common bird’s-foot-trefoil, common bent, sheep’s fescue, mat grass, sheep’s sorrel, heath bedstraw, harebell, green-winged orchid, bee orchid, pepper saxifrage, and adder’s tongue fern.

Grasslands provide habitats for lots of different types of wildlife that live in and on the grasses and wildflowers including; lapwing, common blue butterfly, orange tip butterfly, chalkhill blue butterfly, meadow brown butterfly, and marbled white butterfly.

We want you to look out for these when you are out walking in the countryside over the next few weeks and let us know exactly where you see them. We will then ask the landowners if we can harvest the seeds to create new grasslands.

Take a look through our gallery below for the key species we would like to harvest and grow.


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