Scientific name Festuca rubra – Plantago lanceolata grassland
Common name Red FescueRibwort Plantain grassland
Community code GL3C

 

GL3C: Festuca rubra – Plantago lanceolata grassland  GL3C: Festuca rubra – Plantago lanceolata grassland  GL3C map: Festuca rubra – Plantago lanceolata grassland

Download full pdf synopsis: GL3C

 

Vegetation

The community typically has a good diversity in grass species with the constants including Dactylis glomerata, Festuca rubra, Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Agrostis stolonifera and Cynosurus cristatus. Broadleaved herbs consist primarily of Plantago lanceolata, Trifolium pratense, Trifolium repens, Cerastium fontanum and Centaurea nigra. The usual presence of Dactylis glomerata and the occasional dominance of Arrhenatherum elatius can lend the vegetation a coarse and tussocky structure.

 

Ecology

The Festuca rubra – Plantago lanceolata grassland is chiefly a lowland community of mineral soils and gentle slopes. Soils tend to be well-drained, fairly fertile and quite base-rich. This community is most frequent across the central part of the country, being only occasional in the south and unrecorded in the south-east.

 

Sub-communities

No sub-communities are described.

 

Similar communities

This grassland differs from the other main meadow community, GL3E Festuca rubra – Rhinanthus minor grassland, in being slightly drier, more base-rich and more fertile. Rhinanthus minor and Agrostis capillaris are much more frequent in community GL3E, while Dactylis glomerata and Agrostis stolonifera are less so.

 

Conservation value

This is a grassland community of medium to high species richness to which belong some swards of two EU HD Annex I habitats, the priority habitat 6210 Orchid-rich calcareous grassland*, on the more base-rich soils, and 6510 Lowland hay meadows. Grasslands of these types are important for pollinators.

 

Management

These swards are managed as grazing land (typically for cattle) and/or mown for hay. Cutting may occur once or twice a year between May and September. The main threats to these grasslands include improvement and abandonment.