Is my land suitable for restoring or creating a meadow?

Creating a wildflower grassland is a tricky process and success is not guaranteed but do not let that put you off. 

A good place to start in planning your restoration or recreation is with our Wildflower Restoration and Recreation Checklist and flow-chart.  You should also look at future management as this is key to a long-term restoration. See our page on How can I manage my meadow?

Some activities might require an Environmental Impact Assessment screening, such as clearing scrub. We have produced a briefing which provides more information about when this process may be required and a more in-depth guidance note for England.

You may like to start by carrying out a soil nutrient test. The outcome of this will refine the restoration options open to you.

If the nutrients are too high you could consider trying to reduce them, using a combination of wildflowers that are more tolerant of higher nutrient levels or undertake a two-stage restoration with yellow rattle. However, if the soil nutrients are too high it is unlikely that any wildflowers would survive, and restoration imay not be possible. If the soil nutrients are low enough you may with to do a full-scale restoration which is advsed in further detail on How can I restore or create a wildflower grassland?

There are also other factors that you may want to take into consideration whilst planning your wildflower restoration. Have a look at some of the common reasons why wildflower restorations may not be successful.

Soil Nutrient Testing

Carrying out a soil nutrient test is a useful starting point.

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Soil Nutrient Stripping

Soil nutrient stripping may be a solution if nutrient levels are slightly high

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Wildflowers Tolerant of More Fertile Conditions

Some wildflowers can tolerate slightly more fertile soils.

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Using yellow rattle in wildflower restoration

Yellow rattle can be used to help restore other wildflowers as part of a one- or two-stage process

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Case Study: Soil Stripping at Dunsdon Farm

Removing the top soil to help create conditions suitable for restoring wild flowers.

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