Managing wildflower pastures
Pastures can provide vital feeding grounds for bumblebees so need careful management to provide a wealth of wildflowers.
Flower-rich pastures are a valuable habitat for bumblebees, as they provide pollen and nectar-rich flowers during the bumblebee nesting season from March to September.
Management of a pasture requires carefully timing the grazing regime, together with careful management of livestock levels and types to avoid over and undergrazing, as well as over tramping of the ground. Ideally, a pasture needs to be rested for eight weeks during the summer (May – July) to allow plants to flower and produce seeds.
For more information on managing wildflower pastures 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 – email@example.com.
Funding options for pastures
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)
HR1: Cattle grazing supplement
HR2: Native breeds at risk grazing 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