Neutral grassland

Wildlife-Walks_neutral-meadow

The meadow at Allt-yr-yn is one of the few neutral grassland sites in Newport.

Neutral grasslands are typically flower-filled meadows that were traditionally cut for hay, and they often occur on damper soils which are difficult to cultivate, on soil which is neither strongly acidic as with heathlands nor strongly alkaline as with chalk grasslands.

Since the 1940s though, more than 97% of these special meadows have been lost.

These meadow types and now very rare and important for many types of wildflowers and need to be conserved.

Flowers

Visit a neutral grassland in late spring and early summer and you will be greeted with a sea of different colours, flowers and heights.

In Allt-yr-yn you will see common knapweed, yellow rattle and devil’s bit scabious amongst the bird’s foot trefoil, red clover and meadow buttercup.

Visit in June through to August to see many spikes of the Common Spotted Orchid on the lower slopes of Allt-yr-yn meadow. 

Invertebrates

Neutral grasslands are valuable for a range of plant feeding and predatory invertebrates and as a nectar source for some insects.

Common blue and meadow brown butterflies will dance between the wildflowers on a sunny day and it will be teeming with bumblebees and honeybees buzzing from flower to flower.

Other wildlife

Neutral grasslands provide a key part of the habitat requirements for many small mammals, such as voles, mice and shrews.

Birds, such as finches, will feed on seed heads, with birds of prey taking advantage of the mammals criss-crossing the grass.

Ant hills are also features of neutral grasslands and provide micro-habitats which benefit different plants and insects.