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Unlocking funds to restore vital grassland

Plantlife has secured funding which could help restore 500 hectares of species-rich grassland over the next 15 years.

A woman wearing pale clothes, a hat and a bumbag is looking at a phone while stood in a meadow

Our Meadow Makers project continued to pick up pace during 2022/23 when we identified more than 110 hectares of land suitable for grassland restoration or creation. 

We used money from National Highways’ Environment and Wellbeing Designated Fund to start assessing the feasibility of reinstating species-rich grasslands at various sites. A total of 111 hectares were identified during the first survey in summer 2022, with further work due to take place 12 months’ later. 

It is hoped the project will spearhead the restoration of 500 hectares of grassland at 100 sites over 15 years. It will also support National Highways’ ambition for no net loss of biodiversity from its strategic road network by 2025. 


Working with our partners 

The funding has already helped us engage with a wide network of landowners. This has included environmental organisations and farmers, both in the public and private sectors. We are delighted to have been able to offer them an attractive package of support, including a UKHab survey. This assesses the current condition of their land and highlights the potential for improvement over the next 15 years. We have also written long-term management plans for each site and will offer support and monitoring.  

Much of this work has taken place at sites across Dartmoor, which is helping to strengthen its ecological connectivity.  

Focusing on this area has also allowed us to build on the successful relationships we formed during 2021/22, when the Meadow Makers project saw us create and restore grasslands and provide training and advice. The initiative also gave us a valuable opportunity to raise awareness of the role these important habitats play in mitigating climate change.

Our ambitions for species recovery

At the end of 2022/23, we submitted a further bid to secure the necessary funding to begin restoring and creating these habitats in the coming 12 months. But our ambitions don’t stop there. In addition to restoring rich and diverse grassland, our long-term aim is to work more closely with engaged landowners.  

By continuing to inspire them, answering their questions and carrying out surveys, we hope to identify and capitalise on new opportunities for species recovery to boost biodiversity long into the future. 

More ‘Protect and Restore’ Projects

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Conservation of rare Brecks flora gathers pace

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Two person working on a log, one is shaving the wood log and the other holding the log in the woodland.

Creating and restoring habitats at our nature reserves

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