In Scotland, grassland habitats are widespread and diverse covering about one third of the landscape. These fall into either upland or lowland grassland types. A vast majority of Scotland’s grasslands have been created by human activity through farming and are now managed for specific purposes. Due to this, many are now intensively managed or ‘improved’ to enhance productivity, and as a consequence tend to be very species-poor.
True unimproved and unmanaged lowland grasslands are now rare in Scotland because farmers have been improving their land to increase yield for centuries. Farming is important for our meat and milk industry but intensive farming has upset the balance of species that have co-existed for many years. Additionally, in our urban areas, many of our grasslands are managed intensively as amenity grassland and cut several times a year and have very poor species diversity.
Our unimproved grasslands are under threat due to fragmentation and isolation, further improvement of land through farming such as the application of herbicides and fertilisers, over-grazing, over-cutting and lack of management through abandonment that changes the vegetation structure through the growth of scrub.
Grasslands are vital habitat for a wide range of animals and plants and are particularly important for invertebrates to grasshoppers and froghoppers to solitary bees and hoverflies. B-Lines have been mapped across the CSGN area which covers over 10,000 hectares and 19 local authorities. This includes the John Muir Pollinator Way B-Line which runs 134 miles from Helensburgh in the west to Dunbar in the east of Scotland. On the ground habitat creation and enhancement has occurred at sites along the entire route of the John Muir Way, including through the Falkirk Pollinator Way project. So far we have created 18 pollinator hotspots and further hotspots are planned for along the route.
“Take part in creating our B-Lines” and find out more on our B-Lines FAQ.
Everyone who lives, works, owns land or goes to school on a B-Line can help, even if only in a small way.
Look at the project pages and partnership pages, to see some of the activity going on in Scotland and look at our map to see where we need to be doing more.
B-Lines have been mapped across the CSGN area with funding from Scottish Natural Heritage and the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community delivered as part of the EcoCo LIFE project: LIFE13 BIO/UK/000428