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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Winter grazing and locally-sourced seed create the best conditions for re-establishing plant species on a hay meadow experiment at Trawsgoed Research Farm, Aberystwyth, Wales

Published source details

Jones A.T. & Hayes M.J. (1999) Increasing floristic diversity in grassland: the effects of management regime and provenance on species introduction. Biological Conservation, 87, 381-390

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore/create species-rich, semi-natural grassland Farmland Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in Trawsgoed Research Farm, Aberystwyth, Wales (Jones & Hayes 1999) (partly the same study as (Hayes & Tallowin 2007)) found that seedlings established best, and survived best in plots that were cut twice with aftermath grazing by sheep in winter. The lowest rates of seedling establishment and plant survival (lower than the control) were in plots cut twice but without grazing. The authors conclude that winter grazing is very important when re-introducing plants to restore hay meadows. By September 1996, seeds from the local area; yarrow Achillea millefolium, purple betony Stachys officinalis and self-heal Prunella vulgaris had survived better than non-local seeds, with no difference in two other species (black knapweed Centaurea nigra, ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata). The five plant species were sown in October 1994, two years after the management experiment began. Fifty seeds of each species and provenance were sown in each of three 1 m2 quadrats/plot. Seeds were either gathered from within 8 km or purchased from a seed supplier (from elsewhere in the UK). Plants were monitored every month after sowing until April 1995, then in April and September 1996.