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What to expect and what not to expect


What are grassland ecosytems

What to expect

Native, largely perennial wildflower meadows, including grasses, which are an important part of any functioning meadow.



Ornamental wildflower meadow

What not to expect

We are not aiming for annual ‘designer’ or ‘ornamental’ meadows.


These brightly coloured annual seed mixes have limited value for wildlife.


They require extensive ground preparation each year such as turf stripping and application of herbicides to prepare the ground which kills off the very plants and insects we should be encouraging! This method is unsustainable and damaging to the native wildlife.


The species found in these annual seed packets are often non-native species of unknown origin, including garden cultivars which do not naturally occur in the UK, let alone in the Vale of Glamorgan. Indeed many of the plant species are more at home in our arable fields e.g. poppies, cornflowers and corn marigold


Keeping the wild in wildflower is important as non-native species can displace native wildflowers that are already present in the seedbank, eroding the distinctiveness and natural genetic variation of our local flora.




In the Vale, we are lucky to have a variety of grassland habitats including Calcareous Grassland which is a relatively uncommon habitat in Wales and in the UK as a whole. It is associated with carboniferous limestone, present along the coastal cliffs. These areas are renowned for their rich limestone floras, which include several nationally rare species.


Insect pollinators and insect-pollinated plants have co-evolved over 100 million years resulting in a complex set of interactions that promote pollination and survival. Some insects are host-specific meaning they rely on certain plant species to complete their lifecycle. These insects may also be specially adapted to feed on certain plants making them important pollinators. These specialised insect-plant interactions highlight why it is important to have a diversity of pollinators. For example, the Carrot Mining Bee prefers to forage on open-structured flowers such as Wild Carrot and Hogweed. Find out more about the Carrot Mining Bee Populations in the Vale.

The most sustainable approach to management of wildflower grasslands is by letting the native seed bank flourish. You may even see an orchid or 200 pop up in your local verge as we did on the Fonmon Bypass.



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