Semi-natural grasslands are a fast-disappearing habitat in Hertfordshire. According to the recent Hertfordshire’s State of Nature report (HMWT, 2020), “of the semi-natural habitats, the greatest combined percentage of extinctions and species that have decreased were associated with grasslands”. This decrease is driven by conversion to other land uses (including tree planting) as well as inadequate management (too intensive or lack of management) of the existing grasslands leading to species loss. Rough Hills grasslands at Bayfordbury provide an excellent opportunity to monitor changes happening in plant communities under various mowing regimes. I have been recording species composition at Rough Hills since 2013. In 2018-19, I co-supervised an undergraduate research project comparing the composition of species in units with different management. The first summary will be published in Hertfordshire Naturalist at the end of 2021.
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