Grasslands

Grassland soils represent a significant store of carbon, with global grasslands estimated to hold 50% more carbon than global forests    . The establishment of new grasslands can act as a carbon sink - studies have found that cropland converted to grassland will continue to sequester carbon for over 120 years    .

Grasslands also provide an important habitat for wildlife, particularly pollinating insects. In England and Wales 97% of flower-rich grasslands were lost between 1930-1984    , and declines in Scotland are often assumed to be similar. Meanwhile insects are declining at a catastrophic rate, with some research predicting that insects could largely disappear within a few decades    .

In 2020 Fife Council conducted a public consultation on changing the management of 10% of council-owned grasslands. The new management strategy involves reduced mowing and a cut-and-collect approach to encourage wildflowers and increase biodiversity. 65% of respondents to the consultation supported this change of management - you can read more about the results and the proposed changes on the Fife Council Grasslands Consultation page.