Red List habitat classification > RLE - Grasslands > RLE7.1 Temperate wooded pasture and meadow

Temperate wooded pasture and meadow

Quick facts

Red List habitat type code RLE7.1
Threat status
Europe Vulnerable
EU Vulnerable
Relation to
Source European Red List habitat factsheet
European Red List of habitats reports
European Red List of habitats (Excel table)


These are open wooded landscapes created and maintained through traditional grazing, hay-making and silviculture. The wooded pastures are typical of the lowlands, hills and mountains throughout the nemoral zone, the wooded meadows mostly found in the mountains and riparian areas of Central Europe. Regional variations in climate and terrain, in purpose and origin, land use and disturbance regime make this habitat very diverse and dynamic with structure and species composition strongly influenced by the landowners and farmer/herders. Due to their semi-open character and their landscape scale, they can accommodate numerous species, many of which are rare and endangered. Other types are relatively species-poor with widely distributed components, but here combined in highly distinctive ways. Traditional wooded pastures and meadows characteristically express the locally distinctive social and economic history and are therefore of considerable cultural significance like high nature value farmland.

Deciduous trees are the usual canopy dominants, particularly Quercus robur, Q. petraea and Fagus sylvatica but also commonly A. campestre, A. platanoides, Acer pseudoplatanus, Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula, Carpinus betulus, Castanea sativa, F. angustifolia, Fraxinus excelsior, Populus alba, Populus nigra, Pyrus pyraster, Salix spp., Sorbus torminalis, Tilia cordata, T. tomentosa, and Ulmus glabra. Typical coniferous trees are Pinus spp., Picea abies and Larix decidua. The spatial arrangement of trees may be close to a regular pattern, where the trees were deliberately planted, sparsely distributed under traditional management or, in ornamental parklands, arranged by landscape design. Individual trees may be of very great age and pollarded veterans can be a distinctive feature.

The open canopy can allow the establishment of a diverse understorey but grazing and/or mowing may largely prevent the development of saplings and shrubs. The species and their density depend on site characteristics, local tradition and management regimes but the most typical smaller trees and shrubs are Crataegus laevigata, C. monogyna, Cornus mas, Corylus avellana, Cytisus scoparius, Euonymus europaeus, J. oxycedrus, Juniperus communis, Ligustrum vulgaris, Prunus spinosa, Rosa spp., Rubus canescens with Calluna vulgaris a common sub-shrub. The composition of the herb layer depends on regional climate and terrain conditions as well as on the kinds of grazing and hay-making. The main herbs are grassland generalists such as species of Dactylis, Lolium, Medicago and Trifolium but plants more or less exclusive to silvipastoral habitats are poisonous taxa such as Asphodelus spp., Dictamnus albus, Helleborus spp., Paeonia spp., Pulsatilla spp. and Veratrum nigrum.

Old-growth and scrub- and coppice- wooded pastures, grazed orchards, meadow orchards have many different sub-types in the nemoral region, including the following: nemoral deciduous hudewald or park of lowland to submontane Fagetalia landscapes in western and central Europe; montane to subalpine deciduous, coniferous or mixed pastoral woodland or Weidfeld dominated by Fagus, Picea or Acer in the mountains of central, southern and southeastern Europe; nemoral lowland deciduous hudewald, park; thermophilous deciduous hudewald of colline to montane Quercetalia pubescentis landscapes in southern, south-east and south-central Europe; deciduous riparian and lowland hudewald with flooding regime of the great river basins, chiefly in eastern and south-eastern Europe; montane to subalpine coniferous pastoral woodland dominated by Pinus or Larix in the high mountains of temperate Europe; montane to altimontane coniferous or mixed Pinus and Abies wood-pasture of the mountains of the wider Mediterranean region; Wacholderheide pastures wooded with Juniperus communis of Fagetalia and Quercetalia roboris landscapes in lowland to montane north-western and central Europe; thermophilous deciduous coppice wood-pasture of Quercetalia pubescentis landscapes in southern and south-eastern Europe; subcontinental shibliak distributed in pastures of wood-steppe and Quercetalia pubescentis regions in south-eastern and south-east central Europe; submediterranean shibliak distributed in Quercetalia pubescentis regions of southeastern Europe; rangelands with tall juniper in southern and southern central European mountains, more widely distributed in Anatolia, the Black Sea area and the Middle East; ancient aristocratic parklands and royal hunting forests in England.

Indicators of quality:

  • Abundance of old-growth, veteran trees

  • Regeneration of open-growth trees

  • Regular and deliberate management maintaining high nature and cultural value as well as agricultural value

  • Little regeneration of the woody element and no scrub encroachment over the grassland

  • No decrease in grazing pressure or frequency of mowing

  • No land-use intensification such as removal of the structural elements to extend the grassland, use of fertilizer and artificial seeding, increase of livestock density

  • No spread of non-native trees from planted stock or naturally invasive sources

Characteristic species
For full habitat description, please download the habitat factsheet.

Threat status

Synthesis of Red List assessment

The habitat qualifies as Vulnerable (VU) on the basis of the losses in the recent past, frequently matched by longer term historical decline in extent.
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable A1
Red List Category Red List Criteria
Vulnerable A1

Confidence in the assessment

Red List of habitat categories and criteria descriptions

Pressures and threats

  • Agriculture
    • Grazing
    • Abandonment of pastoral systems, lack of grazing
  • Sylviculture, forestry
    • Forest planting on open ground
    • Forest and Plantation management & use
    • Forest replanting
    • Forestry clearance
    • Removal of dead and dying trees
    • Grazing in forests/ woodland
  • Urbanisation, residential and commercial development
    • Urbanised areas, human habitation

Habitat restoration potential

Restoration is more successful where the habitat still retains some measure of structural integrity and floristic diversity but, even where restoration is better, the wider fabric of traditional land-use with its distinctive combination of grazing and silviculture has often disintegrated.

Trends in extent

Average current trend in quantity

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Trends in quality

Average current trend in quality

Decreasing Decreasing
EU28 EU28+

Conservation and management needs

Conservation of this habitat demands maintenance of integrated management of both grassland and tree cover over an often large scale and, even in those landscapes which have some measure of protection for other reasons (like historic parklands or national parks), this can be difficult to achieve in the changed social and economic conditions prevailing now.

List of conservation and management needs

  • Measures related to agriculture and open habitats
    • Maintaining grasslands and other open habitats
  • Measures related to forests and wooded habitats
    • Restoring/Improving forest habitats
    • Adapt forest management


For each habitat a distribution map was produced from a wide variety of sources indicating known and potential occurrences of the habitat in 10x10 km grids within Europe. Occurrences in grid cells were given in two classes: actual distribution from relatively reliable sources (surveys, expert knowledge), and potential distribution based on models or less reliable indicators. Please download the fact sheet to see the map.

Geographic occurrence and trends

EU28 Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Austria Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Bulgaria Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Croatia Present 1 Decreasing Decreasing
Estonia Present 58 Decreasing Stable
Finland mainland Present 21 Decreasing Stable
Germany Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Hungary Present 55 Decreasing Decreasing
Ireland Present 10 Decreasing Decreasing
Italy mainland Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
Latvia Present 12 Decreasing Decreasing
Slovenia Present 5 Decreasing Decreasing
Spain mainland Present unknown Decreasing Decreasing
United Kingdom Present 2000 Decreasing Stable
Lithuania Present Dec-15 Decreasing Decreasing
Netherlands Present unknown Unknown Unknown
Belgium Uncertain unknown Unknown Unknown
EU28 + Present or presence uncertain Current area of habitat (Km2) Recent trend in quantity (last 50 years) Recent trend in quality (last 50 years)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Present 100 Decreasing Decreasing
Switzerland Present 400-600 Decreasing Decreasing

Extent of Occurrence, Area of Occupancy and habitat area

Extent of Occurrence (EOO) (Km2) Area of Occupancy (AOO) Current estimated Total Area Comment
EU28 4642500 5330 >2656 But of this, 2000km² are from the UK where the habitat is taken to include aristocratic and royal parklands and ancient hunting forests. A third of the countries responding indicate an unknown area..
EU28+ 5362 >2656
AOO = the area occupied by a habitat measured in number of 10x10 km grid cells.
EOO = the area (km2) of the envelope around all occurrences of a habitat (calculated by a minimum convex polygon).

Characteristic species

Not available

Vegetation types

Relation to vegetation types (syntaxa)

Not available

Other classifications

Not available
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
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