Create a varied sward on some of your grassland (livestock farming)

01 February 2019

Cows grazing, the Chilterns

Grazing practices have a big effect on wildlife. Variation in vegetation structure (short to tall; sparse to tussocky) offers greater wildlife benefits than short swards. Grazing is vital to maintain diversity of structure.

Any grassland management practice that allows plants to flower and seed, even if only for a short period, will be beneficial. Some examples include:

  • Grazing a taller average sward height (9-12cm)
  • Deferred grazing systems
  • Leaving small areas uncut in mown or topped fields

This will boost wildlife opportunities as well as improving water infiltration into soil. You can target this approach on less productive grassland areas (either whole fields or to awkward corners, wet areas and buffer strips).

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from the team will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to Championing the Farmed Environment for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the CFE and NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.