The reference state for rhos pasture would be damp, marshy grassland where purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) was one of the co-dominant species. The vegetation would have an open structure, and not be too closely grazed nor under-grazed and tussocky, this structure can be achieved through light grazing with large animals (typically between 1-2 livestock units per ha). The sward would be generally species-rich and, in more base-rich situations, include species such as meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum), Tawny sedge (Carex hostiana), flea sedge (Carex pulicaris) and abundant devil’s-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis). In the commoner more acidic situations, swards of a similar structure should be similarly species-rich, but reflect the more acidic conditions. The soils can be mineral soil or peat. If it is peat, it is less than 50 cm deep and has at least some lateral ground flow of water, which distinguishes the habitat from raised bogs and blanket bogs. Some of the best examples of rhos pasture in Wales are found on the southern edge of the coalfield in south Wales. These fields are typically small to medium sized and traditionally were grazed by one or two pit ponies. However, in recent times, neglect and under-management has been the major cause of habitat loss and degradation, particularly since the demise of the mining industry in the early 1980s.