There are no ‘natural’ pastures in Wales, all grazing pastures have been modified to some degree by their management history. Those with the richest flora and fauna are likely to be those historically managed with low levels of horse or cattle grazing, e.g. the typically small damp purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) pastures that were grazed by a handful of pit-ponies in the days when coal mining was the major local industry. However, in the aftermath of the pit closures, these small pastures have become uneconomical and many have been lost through abandonment. This has been a major problem for some of the species associated with the habitat, notably the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) butterfly. Other species-rich pastures can be partially, at least, dominated by rushes (Juncus spp.) such as sharp-flowered rush (Juncus acutiflorus), as illustrated in the image above.