Lowland Acid grasslands
Some plants favour acidic soils and so develop specific communties of grasses and flowers in acidic areas. These soils are usually free draining and low in nutrients, oftern over sands and gravels. This creates a dry, acidic grassland.
The lack of water and nutrients has encouraged the development of a community of species that can cope with these conditions. During summer the ground may become parched, reducing the cover of grass and producing areas of bare ground. These bare patches can be very important for a number of insects as they heat up quickly in the sun. Bare areas also allow simple plants like lichens the opportunity to grow amongst grasses that would otherwise smother them.
In the lowlands this habitat is now scarce as it has disappeared due to agricultural improvement. Acidic grasslands occur across the uplands but are often wetter and are degraded examples of habitats such as blanket bog and upland heath.
Lowland acid grasslands often occur along with lowland heath forming a mosaic of grass and heath area. It is normally managed as pasture.
Explore more grassland and farmland habitats by using the navigation bar on the left or go back to Biodiversity in the National Park.