The EK/OK21 'Legume and herb rich swards’ option, introduced in 2013, provides a way of establishing grassland in farmland that is good for wildlife and provides productive foraging resources for livestock, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, benefits to soil structure and associated water infiltration. This project reviewed the performance of the new options in their initial year and aimed to identify how they can be better managed to support native wildlife, eg what cutting and grazing regimes work best, when is the best time to sow and what are the best methods of establishment?
This project produced the following outputs:
|Final report||Defra publication|
This work will help our understanding and support the delivery of the EK21/OK21 'Legume and herb rich sward’ option which is currently available through Environmental Stewardship. A similar successor option will also be available in the new scheme, Countryside Stewardship. As the sown swards are relatively species rich they may help make farmland landscapes less hostile for native wildlife trying to move though it, for example by creating stepping stones allowing species to move from one habitat to another.