Grasslands come in all shapes and sizes and we have been caring for a variety of grasslands for over a hundred years. Today, we manage grasslands in several different ways to the benefit of people, wildlife and, in certain places, for highway safety too.
Across the 1,200 hectare estate, many verges and open commons are left to grow throughout the spring and summer creating swathes of wildflowers including orchids and knapweed. By not mowing areas at Malvern Common, Colwall Green and Newland Common, until they are cut for hay in late summer, a diverse habitat provides food for pollinators throughout August. These wildflower displays are also admired by local people and visitors.
Although many of the hay meadow areas have set seed and are ready to be cut, the recent poor weather is delaying hay cuts and mowing. These areas will be cut once the weather has improved.
Alongside these wilder areas, the Trust provides and maintains paths and open areas for public recreation. These are mown regularly through the year to provide a more easily accessible surface trying to ensure that many people of different abilities can enjoy it. The Trust and the county Highway Authorities also regularly cut some road verges and visibility splays near road junctions for highway safety.
Shorter grass areas can also be wildlife-friendly, with certain plants such as bird's foot trefoil and clover, benefiting from the lack of taller, more competitive plants. Regularly mown areas can also provide high densities of flowering plants for pollinators.
We aim to strike a balance and provide a mixture of grassland types. We keep our mowing schedule under review and welcome any suggestions for improvements.
Find more information about our management of grasslands in our Land Management Plan.
Further information about conserving grasslands across the UK and how you can support wildlife in your own garden is provided by Plantlife.