Most of the land area of Wales is covered by grassland, much of this, if not all, has been modified through agricultural processes, atmospheric depositions or both. We have used an initial dichotomy of dry grassland and marshy grassland, with more detailed descriptions of the main grassland types provided under the relevant section. Note that dune grasslands have been covered in the section on ‘Coastal dunes’ and that agricultural grasslands are in the section covering ‘Agricultural habitats’.
Most damp pastures in Wales conform to three broad forms, grassland dominated by purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea), grasslands dominated by rushes (Juncus spp.) or grassland co-dominated by a mix of the two. The habitats can vary greatly both in structure and species-richness and are described in more detail under the sections below.
Dry semi-natural grassland can be divided into four broad categories: acid grassland, neutral grassland, calcareous grassland and maritime grassland. All of these have been modified to a greater or lesser extent by agricultural practices and / or atmospheric depositions.