NVC Plant Communities

The British National Vegetation Classification or NVC is a system of describing and classifying natural habitat types in Great Britain according to the vegetation they contain.

In practice the NVC community descriptions do not translate directly into a corresponding set of seed mixtures that can be sown to recreate the given community as some have tried to suggest. The NVC was not designed for this purpose and many other factors have to be considered when specifying seed mixtures. However since its publication in 1992 it has proved an invaluable resource when creating wild flower and grass seed specifications and mixtures.

Emorsgate have used the NVC extensively over the years to inform the development of the seed mixtures we offer. The following is a guide to the NVC categories that inform the mixtures we offer based upon plant communities that could develop in, or be appropriate to, the circumstances for which in our mixtures are commonly specified.

If you have a particular plant community specified as an objective for restoration do contact us for advice as to the best practical way to try and achieve this.

Most of our seed mixture reference more than one NVC community type. This is a reflection of the fact that firstly a given site and soil type can naturally support a number of communities depending on management, hydrology and other factors; and secondly, that the communities overlap and can change over time from one to another.

MG5 Cynosurus cristatus – Centaurea nigra mesotrophic grassland underlies many of our seed mixture specifications as this is the major grassland type included within the popular, but often loosely applied, category of ‘Old Meadow’ which in turn is the objective of many schemes.

The following list gives examples of Emorsgates’ principal mixtures followed by codes of the NVC categories which have informed their composition.

Scroll table with your finger to see all info

Mixture Type Mixture Link NVC Category
General purpose meadow mixtures EM1 EM2 EM3 MG5, MG1, MG1e
Meadow mixture for clay soils EM4 MG5, MG5a
Meadow mixture for loamy soils EM5 MG5, MG5b
Meadow mixture for chalk & limestone EM6 MG5, MG5b, CG2, CG3, CG9
Meadow mixture for sandy soils EM7 MG5, MG5c
Meadow mixture for wetlands EM8 MG4, MG8, MG5, MG5a, M22
Pond edge mixture EP1 M22, M23, M27, MG4, MG8
Tussock mixture EM10 MG1, MG1e, MG5, MG9
Hedgerow mixture EH1 MG1, MG1e, MG5
Woodland mixture EW1 W8, W9, W10, W11, W12