Species rich wet meadows in Scotland

Species rich wet meadows in Scotland

The FMP have been working with NatureScot and others to investigate the classification and extent of wet meadow plant communities in Scotland, in particular around the coasts. This started with a visit to the Outer Hebrides in 208 and continued, supported with funding from The Halpin Trust in 2020 and 2021. This funding has enabled the development of three research sites on the Outer Hebrides plus one on the Shetland Islands. Research sites mean we can monitor the plant communities there in terms of botany, hydrology and soils to see how they respond in different scenarios. We have also surveyed other fields where there are species rich plant communities and have been able to describe and define 5 new plant communities there, different from plant communities recorded elsewhere in England and Wales. 

As part of this work, we have also been interviewing crofters working with the University of Edinburgh. Due to COVID-restrictions, our interviews with crofters were all carried out virtually in 2021.

Our objectives for this phase of the project (2022-2024) are:

  1. Finalise and publish findings on the new plant communities in British Wildlife and as a peer-reviewed academic paper.
  2. Visit the Outer Hebrides and Shetland Islands in 2023 to:
    a) Continue with crofter interviews.
    b) Re-survey 4 research sites (3 on the Outer Hebrides and 1 on the Shetland Islands) to re-visit botanical quadrats and download hydrological data loggers.
    c) Survey any new sites where landowner permission has been secured to continue to map the overall extent.
    d) Host an 'in the field' workshop with interested crofters and practitioners.
  3. Collate all data and seek funds to re-visit the research sites in 2025.
Image of researchers in a field

Key resources

  • Meadows and more. A botanical journey on the Uists Blog