Managing wildflower meadows
Managing a meadow appropriately will, over time, help to increase the range and number of flowers that it supports, increasing the quantity and quality of foraging habitat for bumblebees.
Wildflower-rich grasslands are the most important habitat for bumblebees as they provide plants throughout the summer and contain many nectar and pollen-rich plant species, which are favoured by bumblebees.
Management of a meadow will include cutting the meadow in late summer and removing the clippings, avoiding the application of chemical fertilisers and minimal application of manure, as well as grazing in spring and autumn if possible.
For more information on managing wildflower meadows for bumblebees, click here to download our factsheet.
Please be aware that each site is unique and the recommended management approach will depend on local site conditions and the historical or traditional management regime. For site-specific advice, please contact your local Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding options for meadows
Entry Level Stewardship (ELS)
Options for grassland outside the severely disadvantaged areas (SDA)
EK2: Permanent grassland with low inputs
EK3: Permanent grassland with very low inputs
Options for grassland and moorland inside the SDA
EL2: Permanent grassland with low inputs in SDA
EL3: Permanent grassland with very low inputs in SDA
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)
HJ3: Arable reversion to unfertilised grassland to prevent erosion or run-off
HJ4: Arable reversion to unfertilised grassland with low fertiliser input to prevent erosion or run-off
HK6: Maintenance of species-rich, semi-natural grassland
HK7: Restoration of species-rich, semi-natural grassland
HK8: Creation of species-rich, semi-natural grassland
HK15: Maintenance of grassland for target features
HK16: Restoration of grassland for target features
HK17: Creation of grassland for target features
HK18: Haymaking supplement
Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS)
Open to all farmers, including those in the uplands, who manage all or part of their land organically, to deliver simple yet effective environmental management. OELS agreements are for 5 years.
Glastir is a 5 year whole farm sustainable land management scheme available to farmers and land managers across Wales.
Agri-environment schemes have operated in Scotland since 1987. These schemes have now closed to new applicants however some assistance may be gained through The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
The SRDP is a programme, worth some £1.5 billion, designed to help develop rural Scotland. The programme is spread over six years and provides help and support to individuals, and groups, in order to help create a wealthier and fairer rural Scotland.
Some of the closed agriculture schemes will now be replaced by new 'funding packages,' operated by the SRDP. The SRDP also brings together a wide range of formerly separate support schemes in areas such as: farming, forestry, rural enterprise and business development.
The scheme is designed to help meet national economic, social and environmental targets; and it is hoped that the scheme will be of great benefit to rural communities.
Some of the SRDP schemes and initiatives include:
Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme
Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme
Forestry Commission Challenge Funds
The LEADER initiative
Less Favoured Area Support Scheme
Rural Development Contracts
Skills Development Scheme
"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."
Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive