Home > Content > Open University Meadow

Open University Meadow

Meadow description

This is an area of permanent pasture that The Parks Trust has owned since 1992 and has managed on a low or no inputs regime. Weed control has been carried out by topping and/or spot treatment with herbicide. We are not aware of any specific restoration techniques or overseeding applied to the area.

The vegetation at this site suggests it may be suitable for creation of floodplain meadow if a hay-making regime were introduced. Some of the component species are already present, but suitable species-rich hay may need to be spread to aid dispersal of others. A soil sample was measured as having a phosphorus availalbility of 28.6 mg/kg, which is above the desirable range, but not excessively so. A regime of biomass stripping through annual hay cuts, or even two hay cuts a year could, after several years, bring the fertility into a range where species-rich grassland can persist. The presence of such a large cover of meadow barley is notable as this species is typical of floodplain meadows.

Very positive changes in the community composition were recorded on the site in 2015 with the species list extended by 27 species. They are all present in small numbers but looked quite evenly distributed across the site.

Curently, the community is classified as an MG4c - Alopecurus pratensis -Sanguisorba officinalis grassland, Holcus lanatus subcommunity. Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) is one of the grasses that dominates here, reflecting a high level of soil nutrients on the site. Ellenberg's indicator score for soil fertility (N=6.1) also indicates that the nutrient balance on the site should be managed down by regular hay cuts (late June) and occasional double cuts (second cut in September).

The site has excellent potential to accommodate a more species-rich sward. .


* Conservation designations are as follows:
SSSI: Site of Special Scientific Interest
NNR: National Nature Reserve
SAC: Special Area of Conservation
RAM: Ramsar Site
SPA: Special Protection Area
WT: Local Wildlife Trust Reserve
NT: National Trust Reserve
VCO: Other Voluntary Conservation Organisation Reserve
CL: Registered Common Land
NS: Non-statutory site

Meadow location

OS Grid RefSP8841936766
Easting488417.443
Northing236765.06
Latitude52.022279
Longitude-0.712827
AddressMilton Keynes
Buckinghamshire

Meadow data

Meadow ownerThe Parks Trust
Catchment areaunknown
Size (hectares)unknown
Conservation designation*unassigned

Information held in the meadows database

Botanicalyes
Hydrological monitoringyes
Hydrological modellingno
Nutritionalyes