Botanical resurvey of wet grassland in the Avon Valley, Upper Thames Tributaries and Somerset Levels and Moors ESAs

  • Published source details Manchester S.J., Carey P.D., Pywell R.F. & Glaves D. (2005) Botanical resurvey of wet grassland in the Avon Valley, Upper Thames Tributaries and Somerset Levels and Moors ESAs. DEFRA (NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) report, project ref. MA01014.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Maintain species-rich, semi-natural grassland

    A replicated before-and-after trial in England (Defra 2005a) found that the Environmentally Sensitive Area scheme maintained extensively-managed permanent pasture and wet grassland/hay meadows in the Avon Valley and Upper Thames Tributaries Environmentally Sensitive Areas, introduced in 1993 and 1995, respectively. The range of vegetation communities in these Environmentally Sensitive Areas was broadly similar between baseline surveys (following introduction) and resurveys in 2003. However, in the Somerset Levels and Moors Environmentally Sensitive Area (baseline surveys in 1993, 1995 and 1998), management under the ‘raised water tier’ of the scheme appeared to be encouraging the formation of less species-rich inundation and rush pasture communities, rather than maintaining species-rich grassland. There were 34 replicate sites in Avon Valley, 39 in Upper Thames Tributaries and 25 in Somerset Levels and Moors Environmentally Sensitive Area.


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