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Meadow management

Walton Hall Meadow
Taking an annual hay cut at the right time of year is critical to maintain both the quality of the hay, and the diversity of wildflowers (Photo credit: Alan Markham).

Floodplain meadows are sensitive to changes in water levels, fertility and management. Additionally, there are complex interactions between these factors, so all three elements should be considered when understanding whether current management will sustain the plant community and the quality of the hay for the long term. In this section, there is information on the water needs, fertility requirements and management for floodplain meadows. Use the ‘how to interpret what you find’ link to understand whether your site is too wet, too dry, or just right based on your species lists. There is also guidance here on what to do about it! We also include information on how to set up a monitoring programme (cheaply) and how to go about restoration.