Avon Wildflower Grasslands Project

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Our Wildflower Grasslands Project was set up in 2008 to begin the long-term process of restoring wildflower grasslands.

We are all acutely aware of the impact of losing 97% of the UK's wildflower-rich grasslands since the 1930s and the knock-on effect on bee and butterfly populations, as well as other wildlife. It is vital that we are able to look after our remaining wildflower grasslands and start to reverse these declines.

Achievements to date

We have surveyed a total of 2,400 hectares of land in the past five years with just over half of this area containing grassland of wildflower interest, as shown in the table below. Our results show no net loss of priority habitat in recent years, but do indicate that only a 1/4 of these grasslands are in an ideal condition.

Survey Results
Grassland Type Area Surveyed (ha) Area to restore (ha) 
Lowland calcareous grassland (lcg) 367 256
Lowland meadow 477 375
Semi-improved lcg 116 116
Semi-improved -  neutral grassland 629 629
TOTAL 1589 1376

The surveys also identified 745 hectares of semi- improved grassland that could be restored to priority habitat, if landowners were able to make the necessary changes in management. 

Being able to manage wildflower grasslands within current farming systems is a challenge, which agri-environment schemes are helping to address. Over 400 hectares of the grassland we surveyed are now in Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) schemes - 150 hectares as a direct result of this project and the rest from applications through other agents, such as the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG). The HLS application is just the beginning of the restoration process and working with Natural England we are able to provide landowners with ongoing practical help through the Grasslands Restoration Team (GRT).

We are also working with landowners outside of HLS agreements to help restore a further 50 hectares of grassland on farms and this work will continue and expand in future years.

Supported by

We would like to thank all the organisations who have provided financial support for our work over the past five years, which include:

Tubney Charitable Trust, Natural England, Biffaward, Cory Environmental Trust in Britain, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, SITA Trust, Mendip Hills AONB, North Somerset Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Duchy of Cornwall, D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Steel Charitable Trust, WF Southall Trust, Alan Evans Memorial Trust, local parish councils, The Wild Flower Society and all Trust members, who have contributed to the wildflower grassland appeals.