Anyone managing or restoring floodplain meadows may be interested to make contact with the Floodplain Meadows Partnership. This project, hosted by the Open University, aims to share the latest research on rare species rich floodplain meadows in order to help with the conservation of existing sites and encourage restoration.
The FMP has collected detailed long term data on key plant communities, soil hydrology and nutrient status from many floodplain meadows across the UK, with the data stored in the ‘Meadows’ database. This has enabled the team to develop an understanding of how these plant communities change in response to local and wider environmental factors. There may be data available for your meadow, so please get in touch or visit the webmap to find out http://www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk/content/meadows
Encouraging the restoration of floodplain meadows is a key objective for this phase of the project. Collection of pre-restoration data is of great importance to give projects the best chance of success, and information is available on what data would be most useful in order to determine most appropriate sites and seed sources.
We would encourage pre and post restoration monitoring and would like to see monitoring data collected in a standard way, so that it can be compared to the national database. The project can provide an analysis of any data collected, attend site visits and help devise botanical, soils and hydrological monitoring programmes. The Partnership is currently developing tools that will help practitioners interpret their own data through the website, and is also working on revisions to the NVC for two of the key floodplain meadow plant communities (MG4 and MG8) in order to help refine management advice.
The project runs workshops, site visits, and guided walks and hosted our first conference in 2010. There is a new ‘Field Studies Guide to Floodplain Meadows’ and the website contains a range of information on floodplain meadows, their cultural history, management, restoration advice, monitoring protocols, case studies of restoration and much more….see www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk. We issue a twice yearly newsletter, so please get in touch if you would like to be added to the distribution list (Floodplain-Meadows-Project [at] open [dot] ac [dot] uk)
The project has a steering group comprised of Natural England, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, the Field Studies Council, The Grasslands Trust, Environment Agency, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Open University and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust to support its second phase (2011-2013.)
Emma Rothero | Floodplain Meadows Partnership Outreach Co-Ordinator | Open University | PO Box 75 | Walton Hall | MIlton Keynes | MK7 6AL | Tel: 01908 655645 | Mobile: 07941 486260