Top five grasslands

Grassy meadows are a great place to pause, enjoy a picnic and the benefits that wide open space can give you. They're also important habitats for lots of species including butterflies and moths and of course wild flowers and herbs. Here's our top five grasslands:

Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, the view down to the empty beach with Rhossili Down on the right

Rhossili and South Gower Coast 

Blanketed with grasses, bracken, gorse and heather, the cliffs of Rhossili Down are a great place to take in breathtaking views of the South Gower coastline. The lowland heath habitat that stretches down towards the rocks at Worms Head is home to a variety of birds and insects, as well as being rich in the area’s archaeological heritage.

Sunset looking north from Devil's Dyke, South Downs, West Sussex

Devil's Dyke, West Sussex 

Explore this historic beauty spot on the South Downs Way, named after the huge dry valley (the largest in the country) that carves its way through ridges of rolling chalk grassland. Great for bike rides, walking and flying a kite, the area is rich in rare and colourful wildlife such as butterflies and orchids.

Scotts pines overlooking wildflowers in meadows & the River Kent's estuarial zone at Arnside Knott, Cumbria

Arnside and Silverdale, South Cumbria and North Lancashire 

This internationally important wildlife area boasts great views and is made up of diverse species-rich habitats including a mosaic of wild, undisturbed coastal grassland and scrub. The limestone grassland and mixed woodland of Arnside Knott is a haven for butterflies, while The Lots in Silverdale is an area of easy-walking grassland.

View to the Mourne Mountains from Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland

Murlough National Nature Reserve, Northern Ireland 

Fringing one of Northern Ireland’s most popular beaches, Murlough National Nature Reserve’s ancient dune, grassland, heath and woodland habitats are home to a huge range of wildlife. Explore the area via a network of paths and boardwalks and in summer look out for an array of butterflies and wildflowers in the herb-rich grassland.

A sunrise view of Minchinhampton Common, Gloucestershire, looking towards Burleigh from near Bownham

Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons, Gloucestershire 

Rodborough Common forms one of the richest grassland systems in the country and offers wonderful panoramic views across the Severn Vale. Its flower-rich limestone grassland supports a variety of wildlife and attracts rare butterflies, such as the Adonis blue. Nearby, on the Cotswold escarpment, Minchinhampton Common is a great place to take a bracing walk or fly a kite.