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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Hay mowing and scrub clearance enhance floristic species richness on a green lane in Norwood End, Essex, England

Published source details

Gardiner T. & Vaughan A. (2009) Hay mowing and scrub clearance enhance floristic species richness on a green lane in Norwood End, Essex, England. Conservation Evidence, 6, 62-65

Summary

An experimental hay mowing and scrub clearance regime was introduced to Perryfield Lane - a 'green lane' site (i.e. a double hedged unsurfaced track) in Norwood End, Essex (England), with the aim of increasing floristic species richness. After two years of management, the floristic species richness doubled on the grassy verges of the lane, a smaller increase in the number of plant species was noted for the central track, which is used by (occasional) motorised vehicles due to the legal status of the lane as a public byway. Plants that benefited from hay mowing and scrub clearance included unimproved grassland indicator species such as black knapweed Centaurea nigra, hairy St. John's-wort Hypericum hirsutum and primrose Primula vulgaris. There were substantial reductions in bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. and blackthorn Prunus spinosa achieved, thereby preventing their encroachment and smothering of the remnant grassland flora.