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OU meadow

Meadow description

This is an area of permanent pasture that the 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. I am 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, whichis above the desirable range, but not excessively so. A regime of biomass stripping could, after several years, bring the fertility into a range where species-rich grassland can persist.   The presence of such a large cover of Hordeum secalinum 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.

MG4c - Alopecurus pratensis -Sanguisorba officinalis grassland, Holcus lanatus subcommunity, showed high similarity to the current vegetation on the meadow. Meadow foxtail Alopecurus pratensis was one of the grasses largely dominated a sward reflecting a high level of soil nutrients on the site. Ellenberg's indicator score for soil fertility N=6.1 also indicated that 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 species-rich MG4b - Typical subcommunity. In 2018, the species richness varied from 9 to 15 species per 1 sq m, which is substantially below what it could be, in the region of 25-35 species per 1 sq m.

* 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

Meadow data

Meadow ownerMK Park Trust
Catchment areaunknown
Size (hectares)unknown
Conservation designation*unassigned

Information held in the meadows database

Hydrological monitoringyes
Hydrological modellingno