Marshy grassland is typically dominated by a mix of purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) and rushes (Juncus spp.). Under base-rich conditions, the habitat can be of European conservation importance, i.e. protected under Annex I of the EC Habitats Directive. And at locations where the vegetation has an open structure and an abundance of devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis), it is the preferred habitat of the marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) butterfly in the UK: a species protected under Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive. The reference state for marshy grassland comprises open and botanically-rich swards, typically grazed by small numbers of cattle. However, most marshy grasslands fail to meet these criteria, having been recently undermanaged, abandoned or, conversely, overgrazed. The sections below provide descriptions of the reference and modified states of marshy grassland.