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Meadow and Grassland Restoration

Regional seed mixtures as an effective tool for the conservation of grassland habitat diversity

Meadows and other grasslands can be very species-rich. They are one of the most diverse communities in Europe and are thus one of the jewels of our nature. Unfortunately, in the Czech Republic we have destroyed many of them in the past, losing a lot of species in the process. However, this can be changed.

Why to restore meadows

Meadows have been present in our area for thousands of years. Most of them have been maintained by human activity, but this does not mean that they are any less valuable. On the contrary, meadows are home to a lot of plant and animal species, especially insects. Meadows are thus important for both nature and man - they provide fodder for livestock, but also, for example,  habitat for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

There are no two meadows exactly alike

During the second half of the last century, many of our meadows were transformed into fields. Unfortunately, when they were re-grassed in the 90s and early 2000s, species-poor seed mixtures were used in most places. The meadows thus restored are neither diverse nor beautiful.

In recent years, the trend has been to sow species-rich seed mixtures. It would seem that this is certainly a move for the better, but unfortunately in some cases the opposite is true. Some of these mixtures do contain many species, but they are completely unsuitable. They may contain various non-native cultivars or even plant species that can disrupt the ecosystem. Problem is also their longevity. Often they look nice for one or two years, but after that, many species disappear and the meadow becomes quite poor.

Therefore, the best solution is to replant your meadow with only species that are commonly found in nice meadows in the area. This will ensure several things - 1) all species and their forms will be well adapted to local conditions, 2) non-native plant species and genotypes will not be introduced into the environment, 3) with proper care, the meadow will last for many years and its quality will even increase over time.