August 2, 2023

Kaidi Tingas

The managers of the semi-natural grasslands gathered to take part in the Lahemaa training day and received the newly completed guide "Plants of Estonian semi-natural grasslands"

The training day was for those who, when applying for support from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) for maintaining semi-natural grasslands, also chose to participate in an additional paid activity – the assessment of the nature conservation assets of the grassland. The assessment procedure is now facilitated by the brand new guide "Plants of Estonian semi-natural grasslands", which the participants of the event believed to be ‘extremely practical and also understandable.

Managers of semi-natural grasslands do not need to make changes to their maintenance practices when assessing conservation assets, but while overseeing their land they must complete an assessment form that teaches them to recognise the various natural assets of the area that is being maintained. It is recommended that the assessment form is completed from spring to early autumn, as this gives a comprehensive overview of the area – different plants bloom at different times and they are easily distinguishable by their blossoms. The dry meadows of OÜ Lahe Maamees, where we visited yesterday, are well maintained and there were huge number of flowers blooming that needed identification. By the way, the guide categorises grassland plants according to the colour of their blossoms!

In addition to the book compiled by the Landscape Biodiversity Working Group of the University of Tartu, the free plant app, Flora Incognita, helps to identify plants.

This year, 227 applicants chose to assess the nature conservation assets of their grasslands. Our wish is for all managers of semi-natural grasslands to make this choice!