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You are quite right to say that more grassland was re-seeded last year than in the previous year. We have complained about the artificial distinction between permanent grass and temporary grass ourselves. I would point out that much more “wildflower” seed is being sown than ever before. Even Prince Charles bought his meadows back to life by bringing in seed a few years ago.
It is a fact of life that much of the national area of grassland has poor botanical diversity because it is not getting the return of seed it needs to maintain itself. The seed banks in the soil are both weak on their range of meadow species and out of balance, with large numbers of problem plant seed such as thistle or bracken. In the past farmers have been advised to solve their problems by using herbicides.
I respectfully suggest that you should be rejoicing that more farmers have attempted to improve their meadows by re-sowing them.
Thanks for your comment Owen.
I am afraid I do not rejoice at farmers improving their meadows by re-sowing them when they are old flower meadows. These are quite different from sown meadows and some are hundreds of years old, even thousands in a few cases. There are only a tiny handful of these old wildflower meadows left in England and each one is equivalent to an ancient church or a thatched cottage.
Why are they so much less valued? It’s remarkably easy to destroy a wildflower meadow and replace it with something more profitable. I understand this. Farmers should be well-paid, from the public purse, to protect and manage these national treasures.
I agree that sowing new wildflower meadows is a good idea, as Prince Charles has promoted – although these are actually being created from seed directly harvested from existing wildflower meadows and sown directly, rather than from a seed merchant’s shelf.