Plant species can give useful clues about soil conditions and management history which can inform potential meadow restoration. For example, a good range of grasses but very few herbs indicate the land may have been sprayed with herbicides or subject to high grazing pressure in the past but may still have a suitable water regime, soil structure, and fertility level to support a species-rich floodplain meadow plant community.

Soil hydrology, type and fertility all influence where different plant species can grow. This means that some species can be useful indicators of certain conditions and their presence used to determine if any issues need to be resolved before attempting to restore a meadow and the best techniques to use.

Explore plants of floodplain meadows and what they can tell you about your site below. Carousel 1:

Plants can tell you about the type of soil on your site. Plant communities form around the extent of soil moisture in floodplains and are grouped into recognisable plant communities that all tolerate similar ranges of soil moisture. The three carousels tabs below show you the types of plants found in different degrees of soil wetness.

In the same way, other plants can tolerate a wider range of conditions and can therefore act as indicators to show you when the site is moving away from the ideal necessary to support a species rich meadow. Plants that indicate soil compaction, high soil fertility and waterlogging can be found below. Use these to help you identify if there is a problem on your site that will limit your ability to restore it.