Establishing a series of wildflower meadows and other areas of open ground will add essential habitat diversity and provide light grazing for livestock.
The ecological assessment showed that, although there are interesting areas associated with acid grassland, mire vegetation and blanket bog, much of Lofftwen currently consists of species-poor grasslands. We want to improve these grasslands by introducing a greater mix of native grasses and wild flowers that can be a vital food source for bees, butterflies and other insects, many of which have seen a significant decline in numbers over recent years. Wild flowers that are left to seed can also feed a large number of birds and small mammals.
Within one season of letting the grasses and flowers grow, we have already begun to see big improvements in the number and diversity of insects and birds at the farm. Local residents have also noticed a difference, specifically commenting on the rapid increase in butterflies and meadow pipits, the latter being an RSPB amber listed species. As well as insects and birds, we are also seeing an increase in the diversity of grasses and wild flowers. A particular favourite is the whorled caraway pictured below, which is listed as a signature plant of the diminishing damp 'rhos' (rough) pasture habitat of mid-Wales.