Grassland and fodder species seed
Agricultural and amenity cultivars
Meadow seed mixtures that contain both grass and wild flowers usually contain agricultural or amenity cultivars of native grass species. These are suitable for many projects, but not for others. Fine-leaved amenity and agricultural cultivars frequently used include Slender Creeping Red Fescue, Small Timothy, Crested Dog's Tail and Common Bent. These are excellent for creating small wildflower meadows on amenity sites and field margins on a wide variety of soil types, as they do not grow vigorously. The established grassland will therefore require less cutting and there will be greater potential for wild flowers to flourish in a non agricultural setting. As unproductive grasses they are however not necessarily suited to establishing larger areas of flower-rich grassland on farmland, where some agricultural production for hay and/or grazing stock is required. For those projects, a range of grasses should be selected that are typical to semi-natural grasslands in the locality, although some cultivated varieties may remain an appropriate choice. Expert advice should be sought to assist specification.
Seed mixtures for creating British- or Irish- typical wild flower grassland should only contain species considered native to the relevant country. They should not they contain cultivars or foreign-origin varieties.
Requirement for registration of seed producers
Suppliers of any Fodder Seed Species (many grasses and some legumes such as Bird's-foot Trefoil, Sanfoin, clovers and vetches) operating in Europe are required under EU legislation to register their business with the relevant country authority: Fera (England), The Scottish Government (Scotland), The Welsh Government (Wales), The Northern Ireland Government, etc. They must also annually apply for an authorisation to market "Preservation Mixtures". This includes any person or business intending to harvest seed from wild donor sites. In England, form CERT 11, must be completed and submitted to FERA to register a business. For details of completing the application for authorisation to market see page 167 of the FERA guidelines Guide to Seed Certification Procedures 2011. Marketing includes the transfer of seed to another person or land which is not under the same legal occupation as the donor site.
Registers of wild donor sites may be available from which seed can be mechanically collected using a brush harvester or green hay method. For further information see the Grassland seed donor site register.