Grassland 2017-05-21T22:00:48+00:00

GRASSLAND

Grassland Management

I provide a professional, comprehensive and competitive grassland management service. From establishing paddocks and wildlife habitats to maintaining sports fields and airfields, I am confident that I will be able to meet your requirements.

Grassland management is a complex subject as the various grassland environments each offer specific challenges.  I will work hard to ensure that you achieve your vision for your land. All areas of grassland require some degree of management in order to fulfil their purpose and to maximise their potential. Effective management involves balancing environmental concerns and the needs of wildlife with the practical and financial demands of your estate or business. Together we can achieve the perfect balance!

I have the experience, knowledge and specialist equipment to handle the following aspects of grassland management:

Hay making (large and small bale), Silage and haylage making (round or square, small and large)
Grass and grazing management for horses & ponies (low sugar)
Management to encourage wild or game birds
Wild flower meadow management and field margins
Embankments and road verges
Sports pitches and outfields
Soil sampling and analysis
Nutrient application – Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash, Sulphur, Lime, Trace Elements
Grass topping, grass cutting and collection
Grass baling and clearance
Seeding and harrowing

Growing With You

Meeting Your Vision

Supporting Wildlife

Clear Management Plans

Grazing for Horses

You will be looking to create grazing which is optimal for your horses. I can help you to establish and maintain grassland which meets your horses’ dietary needs and enhances their health. Horses require the availability of a high fibre diet which is of low to medium digestibility. A mixed sward grassland containing a broad spectrum of grasses, plants and flowers, rather than one dominated by ryegrass, is ideal.

Horses are selective grazers and will choose certain species over others at different times of the year. A mixed species sward will encourage horses to move around the land, searching for the species they prefer and ensuring that exercise is taken while at pasture. This mirrors their lifestyle in the wild.

Grazing a mixed species grassland combined with a good exercise programme can help to reduce the risk of obesity, laminitis and associated metabolic disorders including Cushing’s disease and equine metabolic syndrome.  Mixed species grassland, when properly maintained, also provides an excellent habitat for wildlife.

All grassland must be monitored for overgrazing and maintained otherwise it can become poached or invasive weeds may take over. I can help you to plan, establish and maintain the highest quality grazing. My services include:

Rotation planning
Seeding
Harrowing
Drainage
Fencing
Cutting and clearance
Weed control

“James provides a high-quality land management service. He’s competitively priced and carries out work to an excellent standard in a professional, timely manner.”

C Parker, Estate Manager, Earth Trust

“Excellent, responsive, knowledgeable, intelligent service at all times. Someone to go to who we can rely on to know what they are doing.”

C.P. Lechlade

Grassland, Wildlife and the Environment

Meadows and grassland field margins provide vital habitats for wildlife including bees and other pollinators, birds and mammals. They protect rivers from pollution, maintain soil quality and enable the landscape to hold a greater volume of water, thus reducing flooding.  But much traditional grassland has been lost or degraded as a result of modern agricultural practices, urbanisation and over-grazing.

Semi-natural or traditionally managed grasslands also provide a sustainable method of forage production. They are lower yielding than modern short-term sown grasslands but are rich in trace elements and tend to feature fewer parasites which impact the guts of grazing animals. Traditional grasslands benefit from greater drought tolerance and so are likely to be more resilient to climate change than modern agricultural grasslands.

Traditional grasslands are culturally important, aesthetically pleasing and bring visual diversity to the landscape. Many crops depend on the biodiversity that areas of grassland create.

I would love to work with you to plan, establish and maintain the grassland that is fundamental to the unique quality of the British countryside. Grassland which promotes good health in livestock and ensures the future of many threatened species.

TRADITIONAL GRASSLANDS PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY 

Management for Game Birds

Sport shooting can provide valuable income for landowners and also offers benefits for the landscape. Many areas of grassland are maintained primarily for their sporting value but their management will also promote biodiversity. Areas of game cover also provide food for farmland birds including sparrows, finches and buntings and so help to redress the scarcity of food sources caused by winter cropping practices.

Grassland for game birds provides buffer zones to mitigate surface water, sediment and nutrient run-off and also provides shelter, nesting sites and food for many species.

Sport shooting for partridge and pheasant often involves the rearing and release of large numbers of birds. Careful management of the land is required to ensure that it is able to adequately support such large populations of quarry birds.  I can establish and maintain areas of grassland on your farm or estate for the benefit of the quarry species, wildlife and the environment whilst optimising your property’s attraction as a venue for shoots.

Roadside Verges

Perhaps surprisingly, roadside embankments and verges can contribute greatly to biodiversity, in spite of their limited width and their proximity to traffic. Over 700 different species of plant have been found growing in verges across Britain and these areas also provide habitats for insects, birds and mammals.

Verges running alongside country lanes tend to be particularly rich in wildlife and act as valuable corridors between habitats.  With careful planning, astute planting and efficient management, the grass margins can be integrated into the network of habitats which are found on the adjacent land.

However, careful maintenance is essential if roadside verges are to realise their potential for beauty and diversity. Maintenance involves a fine balancing act. If left uncut, the flowers growing on the verges will disappear because larger and more aggressive plants will take hold. On the other hand, excessive cutting, especially early in the year, will reduce the number of species growing on the land and so will impact the diversity of the insects which feed on the plants.

I am experienced in the establishment and maintenance of roadside verges and can help you to create visually appealing verges which boast exceptional biodiversity.

WHY NOT GIVE WILDLIFE A SPORTING CHANCE?

Sports Fields and Amenity Grassland

Together with my expert team, I am able to maintain amenity grassland, sports pitches, car parks and paths. My service includes over-seeding, scarification, the removal of moss and thatch together with fertilisation. I can also attend to aeration and drainage to ensure that playing surfaces including rugby, cricket and football pitches, remain playable for longer.

Where appropriate, I like to incorporate wildlife zones. Managed boundaries of grassland and wild flowers in out of the way areas will help a variety of species to prosper.