Lowland Scotland has some of the rarest, most threatened and beautiful grassland habitats, important both for wildlife and cultural values, but they are now small and fragmented. The majority of Save Our Magnificent Meadows project sites within this area are located in the gently rolling central lowlands – defined as the Scottish Midlands Valley. The increasing intensity of agriculture was once the greatest threat to Scotland’s lowlands habitats but for those sites that have survived into the 21st Century it is now a lack of management that poses the biggest risk, as grazing has reduced or stopped altogether.
Save Our Magnificent Meadows has reintroduced sustainable management practices across sites either owned or managed Scottish Wildlife Trust, who are the lead project partner in the area.
Save Our Magnificent Meadows sites within East and Central Lowland Scotland are:
Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch
Recent activity on this project has included moving livestock to their winter grazing locations. Thanks to this project we now have cattle grazing during the winter at Bo’mains Meadow and at Bawsinch and Duddingston Loch Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserves. The cattle have been doing an excellent job at both reserves reducing scrub levels and helping increase the extent of the areas of species rich grassland.
At Carlingnose Point this project has worked over several years with volunteers and contractors to increase the extent of species rich grassland that had been threatened by gorse and cotoneaster scrub. In 2016 we were delighted to find several rare plants that had not been observed on the reserve for several years including dropwort and field gentian.
In Scotland, Magnificent Meadows is being delivered with support from Scottish Natural Heritage.