“Less than 1% of Latvia is covered by semi-natural grasslands. Hence, it is essential not only to preserve the existing natural meadows and pastures, but also to promote the restoration of other perennial grasslands,” emphasizes Maija Medne, grassland habitat expert for the LatViaNature project in the Nature Conservation Agency.
Grasslands (meadows, pastures) which are located outside Natura 2000 and have not yet been recognized as grassland habitats of European Union importance are eligible to participate in the programme, provided that the respective area is larger than 0.1 hectares. Detailed information on participation in the programme, as well as the application form, is available on the website https://latvianature.daba.gov.lv/ziedu-plavas/.
The pilot programme for grasslands, Blooming Meadows, will be in place from 2023 to 2026, aiming to improve biodiversity in perennial grasslands in Latvia. For the landowner, it will be an opportunity to gradually improve the quality of their grasslands, using their own knowledge and experience, while receiving expert advice on grassland habitats, as well as financial support.
The Nature Conservation Agency developed the pilot programme Blooming Meadows in a partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Vidzeme University, the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, and the University of Latvia.