What we do

© Mike Dodd

What we do

The Partnership conducts research on meadow sites across the UK, including those managed by our members and those owned by private landowners, investigating how factors such as hydrology, soil fertility and vegetation management determine the composition of the plant community. We share all our findings through our network of practitioners, publications, newsletters, website, conferences and training programmes. We undertake site visits to provide management advice and to run management trials. We collate and analyse data, to underpin evidence-based advice and training, which we supply to our delivery partners. We seek to empower practitioners to assess and manage their own sites.

You read about agricultural policy, and you read about public money for public goods. But I think these meadows, and the barn owl and the wildflowers they support are public goods! And maybe that’s what we should be accounting for in equal measure to profit and yield. Martin Hamar, sixth-generation arable and beef farmer and the chair of the NFU in North Oxfordshire. Maximise the value of land - Food, Farming and Countryside Commission (ffcc.co.uk)

This story first appeared in the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission's Field Guide for the Future which shares stories of hope and action from communities across UK nations. Sign up to their newsletter to get the latest stories straight to your inbox.


We sit within the Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences School at the Open University, where Professor David Gowing (FMP Director) has been researching the eco-hydrology of floodplain meadows since 1992. Our long-term monitoring research into floodplain meadows helps with conservation and restoration of these habitats. Our research includes looking at the impacts of flooding, water regime, climate change and nutrient cycling on floodplain meadows. Our researchers specialise in:

  • Soil water and nutrients influence on vegetation communities;
  • Habitat restoration and management;
  • Soil carbon storage
Photo of an eye glass close up


Our research, monitoring and database enable us to provide evidence-based advice, in written form such as guidance notes and our Technical handbook, or through face to face site visits or email/telephone correspondence. We have also trained our Ambassadors who take part in a 3-year programme to become familiar with the ways of collecting and interpreting data on floodplain meadows across the country. Get in touch with us directly, or your local FMP Ambassador if you want advice on your floodplain meadow project.

Projects and partnerships

We work locally, nationally and internationally to promote floodplain meadows as nature-based solutions to current challenges. Our collaborations and projects combine the Floodplain Meadow Partnership's expertise with the resources and knowledge of partners and wider stakeholders including landowners, NGOs, farmers, community groups and statutory bodies.

We undertake a range of types of projects, from working with local partners like farmer groups and NGO’s to deliver floodplain meadow restoration in combination with research, to raising the profile of floodplain meadows through arts and community projects. We undertake scientific studies, and conduct management trials in order to provide evidence-based advice and we work with volunteers to collect data for scientific research on snake's-head fritillaries.

Stained glass piece by Claire Cornish
'Seasons song' by Claire Cornish

Farmer Networks

We work with farmer networks and facilitation groups where there are overlapping interests. Often farmer groups coalesce around a geographical area such as a river or catchment, and this means there is potential for floodplain meadows to be a focus as part of the network.

We are happy to link into farmer networks where this would be useful.


'Tidal Waves June 2021' by Denise Evans
'Tidal Waves June 2021' by Denise Evans


We undertake consultancy activities where it aligns with our research interests and where it helps to protect or restore floodplain meadows. The types of activity we typically undertake are botanical, hydrological and soils data collection, monitoring and analysis. These activities are usually in in relation to development activities, or meadow management and restoration potential questions.
'Meadow Grasses' by Niki Kent
'Meadow Grasses' by Niki Kent