Lincolnshire Limestone

South-west Lincolnshire is dominated by a large upland area of limestone. This special geology has created some of the richest grasslands in the country, with up to 40 species of plant per square metre of turf, including national rarities like the early gentian and pasqueflower, and supporting butterflies, glow worms, lizards, skylarks and barn owls.

Rising up to 100m high in places this area is characterised by a steep escarpment facing west, running south from Lincoln and by a long gradual dip slope undulating down to the Witham Fens. 

Limestone influences the quality of local soil, making it especially conducive to the growth of rare wildflowers. In the 1940s, the grassland here was recognised as one of the country's hotspots for biodiversity. But changes in agricultural practices and development have resulted in continued losses of this nationally important wildlife habitat. Now, only an estimated 100 hectares of flower-rich grassland remains (0.05% of its original extent), confined to small fragmented sites mainly on nature reserves, quarry sites and roadside verges.

As you cycle, walk or drive along the quiet country lanes of this area you will be passing along some of the most important roadside verges in the country due to the amount of rare wildflowers that they hold. 

Limestone grassland is so scarce and vulnerable that its survival is a conservation priority under national and local Biodiversity Action Plans. Natural England, Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust have launched a bold vision for the future of these limestone grasslands. We believe that together with land management advisors, local authorities and quarry operators, the limestone grassland, geology and landscape of this area can be protected and enhanced.

 

What’s happening?

Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadows Network

In 2014, the Trust received a grant of £76,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the new Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadows Network project. The project aims to inspire, involve and train volunteers in wildflower meadow creation and management by establishing demonstration sites, community projects, holding events and training days. Local wildflower seed and green hay will be collected from Trust nature reserves including our Coronation Meadow Red Hill for use on project sites.

For more information visit our Wildflower Meadows Microsite

Press release:
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust secures Heritage Lottery Fund support for Lincolnshire’s Wildflower Meadow Network

 

Life of the Verge

Over the five years of the Life on the Verge projects in south-west Lincolnshire (from 2008-2013) and the Lincolnshire Wolds (from 2011-2013) more than 250 volunteers have helped to survey 2,741km of road (5,482km of verge) and given at least 3,000 hours of their time. Through these surveys many road verges that have maintained their botanical interest have been discovered and been designated as Local Wildlife Sites.   

Life on the Verge