A review of the use of organic manures on lowland grassland pastures in the UK.

Published online
20 Oct 2021
Published by
Natural England
Content type

Chalmers, A. & Kirkham, F. & McLaren, R. & Smith, K. & Downie, L. & Goodlass, G.

Publication language


This review discusses the use of organic manures on lowland grassland pastures in the UK. This review covers a range of topics, including: (1) current advice/prescriptions for organic manure use on semi-natural swards; (2) current and past manure practices on grassland; (3) major nutrient and heavy metal contents of different manure types; (4) current legislation and codes of agricultural practice relating to manures; (5) nutrient cycling and budgets in pasture systems; and (6) the impact of manures on pasture species composition and sward structure. The review also considers the possible interaction between manure use and liming, manuring practice on horse pastures, and the possible effects that the cessation of the traditional practice of folding sheep from chalk grassland onto arable land may have had on nutrient cycling in downland. Predicted effects of organic manure use on species composition in semi-natural pastures are discussed from the findings obtained and recommendations given for future research requirements.

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