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AONB: Gower

Calcareous Grassland & Hay Meadow Restoration

97% of lowland hay meadows lost since WW2 but the condition of 75ha of lowland calcareous grassland has been improved on the limestone of the south Gower cliffs.  Work includes fencing and control of bracken and scrub. The provision of water supplies have enabled grazing animals to access more of the pasture above the cliffs.

In Rhossili the National Trust owns a medieval field system, and over the past few years have been looking at changing the way they farm from tenanting out the fields to managing the area through high nature value farming. As part of this change towards high nature value farming, they needed to transform their existing grass fields into flower rich hay meadows.

Modern agricultural methods mean that farmers have added a lot of nutrients and artificial chemicals to the soil, which results in lush grass, but decreases the variety of species of flowers that grow. The pollen yielded from these flowers is vital for sustaining insects such as bees, which are crucial to biodiversity and the wildlife network.