Improved grassland consists of mainly Ryegrass with few flowers such as buttercups, docks and thistles. Although there may be high numbers of these 'weeds', they have little value for wildlife.
These are the commonest grassland left in the Weald. They do have potential for conversion to rough grassland - as the Ryegrass declines, it will attract Voles, Bumblebees, and Barn Owls.
Do you think you own an improved grassland? Would you like to create a species-rich grassland from scratch?
If so we recommend following the the steps below. Our information sheets provide more detail on each step and please do not hesitate to contact the Weald Meadows Officer if you would like some free advice.
1. Test you soil pH - if your soil is slightly acidic, nutrient poor and records of the site show poor cropping, damp areas, slopes or the site is next to woodland/water then consider creation.2. If you have a high weed content - greater than 50% ground cover - then reject wildflower introduction and carry out weed control
3. If weed level is low, test the soil to establish whether the pH is acidic/neutral/low and if it is low in nutrients (essential for wild flower species introduction).
Information Sheet 4 How to test soil nutrients before creating a wildflower meadow
4. Decide if your grassland is suitable for creation; either the introduction of mixed wildflower and grass seed or single species wildflowers.
Allow a year for preparation and consider how you will manage the site after wildflower and grass species have been introduced.
5. If your grassland is suitable for creation, consider sourcing your seed from a nearby wildflower grassland or supplier of native origin seed (ideally Weald Native Origin Seed)
6. Manage your grassland as either hay meadow or permanent pasture - this is essential to the successful establishment of any newly introduced wildflower or grass speciesInformation Sheet 2 How to Manage a Wildflower Meadow