Invertebrates Technical Factsheets from FWAG

Invertebrates of Rough Grass


Clearly a very broad habitat type including field margins, roadside verges, ungrazed grasslands, woodland rides, etc. Whilst very common and widespread, this habitat is very important for invertebrates.

Fauna: e.g. white-tailed bumble bee

A black, white and yellow bumble bee found in gardens, hedgerows and rough grass. It often breeds in old vole nests. Only the young fertilized queen survives the winter. She emerges in spring having hibernated in a protected place such as in a hole or under moss.

White-tailed bumble bee (Bombus lucorum)


Many of the invertebrate species of rough grass perform vital tasks such as recycling dead material, predation of pest species (such as aphids) and pollination. Many also have an important place in the food chain, supporting local populations of small mammals, birds, etc.

Beneficial management

  • Avoid over tidiness around the farm and routine mowing of verges, field margins etc, leaving some areas uncut. Some invertebrates overwinter in tussocky clumps, knapweed heads etc.
  • Allow wildflowers, such as hogweed to flower and set seed.
  • Cut of hedges, hedge bottoms, ditches and dykes on a rotational basis.
  • Allow awkward field corners to ‘rough up’. These can be especially valuable if south facing.
  • Make full use of management options on non-rotational set-aside. 25% can be left uncut for a year and 10% can be left uncut permanently. Derogations for other options are available.

Photo gallery 

Click <here> to view photographs of some important invertebrates of rough grass.

Further information

For further information including possible grant aid contact your local FWAG Adviser and visit the FWAG website at

Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in the information sheet. However, FWAG cannot accept liability for any errors or omission.
Photographs Roger Key, English Nature
Author: Roger Key, English Nature
45.1 Jan 2004

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