South Lincolnshire Limestone

South Lincolnshire Limestone  - RB WilkinsonSouth Lincolnshire Limestone - RB Wilkinson

This scheme area contains some of the richest grasslands in the country, where you can find 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.

grassland so scarce and vulnerable that its survival is a conservation priority

Lincolnshire and Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trusts

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.

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?

The Life on the Verge Project will identify, maintain, restore and re-create lowland calcareous grassland; improve conditions for associated Biodiversity Action Plan species including dingy skipper, grizzled skipper, Duke of Burgundy, four-spotted moth, early gentian and skylark; and raise awareness and increase understanding of the value of this habitat to provide long-term support for its conservation.

Life on the Verge:

  • Is the largest wild flower survey of Britain's roadside verges: 3,252km of verge surveyed so far!
  • Aims to identify the most important roadside verges for limestone grassland wildlife in South-West Lincolnshire, North-East Rutland and East Leicestershire.
  • Has already enabled new Local Wildlife Site designation of recently discovered wildflower-rich roadsides along 44km of road.
  • Has run 36 wild flower identification field classes over the last three years for 351 trainees.
  • Has spread the message about Lincolnshire's threatened limestone grassland to a total audience of over 1,400 people through 37 talks.
  • Continues to rely on local volunteers of all skill levels

Start date: 2008

Scheme area: 500 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Ketton Quarry, Bloody Oaks Quary, Merry's Meadows, Cribb's Meadow, Stonesby Quarry.

This scheme is helping species including...

UK Biodiversity Action Plan species, dingy skipper, grizzled skipper, Duke of Burgundy, large garden bumblebee, four-spotted moth, skylark, grey partridge; purple milk-vetch, basil thyme, pasqueflower, chalk eyebright, field gentian, man orchid.

Current threats to the landscape

Habitat fragmentation

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving access for people, providing volunteering opportunities and skills training


Natural England, local authorities

To find out more

Email:  | Tel: 01507 526667 | Life on the Verge

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