Twyford Down Project
The aim of the restoration was to create new areas of herb-
The process of habitat restoration can be divided into three distinct phases:
The first phase is the preparation of the site. This can involve denutrification by various methods, adjustment of soil depths, and in some cases landscaping to alter aspect.
The second phase is the introduction of the relevant plants in suitable proportions.
This can be accomplished by variations of turf translocation, seedling and planting
The third phase is the manipulation of management techniques to drive the development of the plant and animal communities towards the desired grassland types. The most commonly used methods on chalk grassland are mowing or grazing, with grazing generally considered to give the most desirable grassland.
This programme of downland restoration involved the use of three main methods: turf translocation, seeding and plug plants. Approximately 0.5 ha could be turfed and the remaining area would receive seed and plug plants which would, where possible, be of local provenance.
Two turf translocation methods were used. Before the main works began, a small area
The 260 kg of seed needed for the 6.5 ha to be sown could not be collected locally without causing unacceptable damage to both flora and fauna of the local source sites, most of which were SSSIs. Therefore the majority of seed mixes comprised commercial seed of known origin, virtually all species coming from south of England sources, and many from areas close to Hampshire. Where species were unavailable commercially of were in very short supply, seed was collected by hand from local downland and incorporated into the mixes.
The seeding was supplemented by 100 000 plug plants of eight species which were important butterfly food plants or were unlikely to grow well from seed. These were grown from seed or cuttings which were collected locally, many from St Catherine's Hill.