Grazing and mowing as management tools on dunes
A brief review of mowing and grazing of sand dune vegetation introduces the first results of the use of these management techniques at Newborough Warren National Nature Reserve, Anglesey, north Wales. In the mowing experiments, plots are mown one (May), twice (May and July), three times (May, July and September) and five times (May, June, July, August and September).
The grazing experiment has the equivalent of one or two animals to three-quarter acre paddocks (0.3 ha) which are grazed for one third, two thirds or for the whole year.
Mean numbers of species per plot, and Lotus corniculatus have increased in both sets of experiments whereas Arrhenatherum elatius has declined. Other species do not show clear-cut changes. Both methods provide practical means of maintaining a short turf, but the long-term effects of mowing may not be beneficial to the vascular plant flora. Grazing can however provide a crop as well as a desirable flora although manpower and capital costs may limit its use by conservationists.
KeywordsCoastal sand dune Grazing Management Mowing
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