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TIN 067 – Arable reversion to species-rich grassland: establishing a sown sward


This note focuses on the creation of species-rich grassland on former arable land, e.g. for taking less profitable areas out of cultivation such as on steeper and wetter or more remote land, or land with very poor soil. It is a practical guide to site preparation, method and timing of sowing, seed mixes, and use of nurse crops.

The guide was originally written to support Environmental Stewardship schemes and is now no longer be found on the Natural England website. We have linked to a copy on the Herefordshire Meadows website, which also has other useful meadow resources. See also other guidance on site selection and the early management of a species-rich sward.


Guidance type/project stage

  • Ecosystem creation
  • Implementation
  • Ecosystem management
  • Ecosystem restoration


  • Farmland
  • Grassland

Challenges addressed

  • Biodiversity

Source | Natural England

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