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Meadows

A meadow is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grassesherbs, and other non-woody plantsTrees or shrubs may sparsely populate meadows, as long as these areas maintain an open character.

 

Meadows attract a multitude of wildlife, and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats. They are ecologically important as they provide areas for animal courtship displaysnesting, food gathering, pollinating insects, and sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough. There are multiple types of meadows, including agricultural, transitional, and perpetual – each playing a unique and important part of the ecosystem.

Like other ecosystems, meadows will experience increased pressure (including on their biodiversity) due to climate change, especially as precipitation and weather conditions change. However, grasslands and meadows also have an important climate change mitigation potential as carbon sinks; deep-rooted grasses store a substantial amount of carbon in soil.

A true ‘meadow’ is an area of grass maintained by an annual hay cut. It’s made up of perennial plants – species that grow and flower each year, re-appearing from their underground roots each spring. It includes meadow flowers like:

  • grasses, such as Crested Dog’s-tail, Sweet Vernal Grass and Yorkshire Fog

  • types of daisy, including Greater Knapweed, Oxeye Daisy and Cat's-ear

  • types of pea and vetch, like Red Clover, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Bush Vetch and Sainfoin

  • many others, such as Buttercups, Meadow Crane's-bill, Lady’s Bedstraw, Cowslips and Wild Carrot.

Annual meadows – species that germinate, flower, set seed and die in one year. For the display to continue in future years, fresh seed has to germinate each year. These seed mixes include many colourful and familiar cornfield flowers such as:

Here at Hosta Groundcare LTD we design, install, maintain and manage all types of meadows and grasslands get in touch for a site survey and we will be happy to advise you on creating a meadow or maintaining your existing meadow.