Species-Rich Grassland Programme

Species-Rich Grassland Programme
A list of meadow flowers enables to identify extensive species-rich grassland. © Rainer Sturm/ pixelio.de

Involved sectors

Agriculture, Tourism and leisure

Affected habitats

Bogs and fens, wetlands, Grassland

Description

The species inventory of a grassland reflects the way in which it is managed and its location. If the management method remains unchanged, the species composition will generally remain unchanged as well. This correlation opens up the opportunity to link subsidies for extensive grassland to the occurrence of key species of flora. In order to implement this innovative, results-oriented approach, a list of meadow flowers serves as a simple tool for reliable identification of extensive species-rich grassland. Promotion depends on the occurrence of certain easily identifiable plant species (indicator plants). Participating farmers undertake to preserve the species richness of their grasslands (meadows and pasturage). Farmers retain the choice of practices and resources to be used, so that biodiversity is not seen as a constraint: it calls upon their technical skills and sense of responsibility. They are also sensitised to issues such as nature conservation and biodiversity.

Impact

Impact in particular on Insects
Ecological impact  
Improvement or preservation of habitats With appropriate extensive management of meadows, species diversity of fauna as well as flora is increased.
Element of ecological network With a sufficient number of areas and appropriate distribution as part of a biotope networking strategy, these meadows can become core and connecting elements of a biotope network.
Time of realisation for measure Months: The positive impact on flora and fauna continues throughout the vegetation period.
Impact scope Very localised (plot): The management method only has a direct impact on the plot concerned. For a corresponding impact in a biotope network, areas managed in this way must be appropriately distributed in line with an overall concept.

Implementation

Implementation period Days: To achieve the stated goal (species richness), extensivisation of agriculture is generally required, which also reduces workload.
Frequency Non-recurring, Recurring: Long-term programmes desirable, but a single implemented measure can be effective.

Economic and legal aspects

Costs Very low (less than 1'000 EUR): In the Regional Natural Park (PNR) of the Massif des Bauges in France, for example, the contract is remunerated with € 89/ha in all participating areas.
Socio-economic impacts High: If tourism professionals are involved, this measure can add value to tourism (local products, flowering landscape, events such as meadow management competitions).
Sources of financing Public: regional, Public: national, Public: European
Legal situation Voluntary participation by farmers in the measure.

Further information

Evaluation The Species-Rich Grassland Programme has been under way in Baden-Württemberg (Germany) since 2002 and has proved very successful. Here, more than 10,000 farmers have participated in the scheme, which is funded by the MEKA II and III programmes. In France, a total of eight natural parks are experimenting with similar programmes. Experience in the Regional Natural Park (PNR) of the Massif des Bauges has been very positive, both from the farmers' and the Park's perspective.
Information Other: Oppermann R., Gujer H.U. (ed.) (2003): Artenreiches Grünland bewerten und fördern - MEKA und ÖQV in der Praxis. Ulmer, 199 p.
Contact France: Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges; contact: Philippe Mestelan
Good Practice Project in the Regional Natural Park (PNR) of the Massif des Bauges, France
Exemple du Parc naturel régional « Massif des Bauges », France
Misura nel Parco naturale regionale “Massif des Bauges”, Francia

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