It is estimated that some 97% of UK hay meadows were lost to changing agricultural practices in the 50 year period from 1930 to 1980. In Wales, the reference state for lowland hay meadows is where the forbs are dominant over grasses and where bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and common knapweed (Centaurea nigra) are locally abundant. In the richer examples, one or more of the less common species, such as Dyer’s greenweed (Genista tictoria) and greater butterfly orchid (Platanthera chlorantha) would also be present . The better upland hay meadows might also host wood bitter vetch (Vicia orobus), as in the image above. Unfortunately, hay meadow habitats in Wales are continuing to decline and degrade, with the better examples becoming few and far between. The more common modified hay meadow habitats are described in the sections below.