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.