Herbal Leys and multi species swards

The term herbal leys or multi species swards are a mix of grasses, legumes and herbs. They have been widely used in livestock grazing but with the introduction of the SFI SAM3 herbal ley scheme they are being introduced to reseeding plans more often.

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Why use a herbal ley? 

  • Improves soil structure and health
  • Provides resilience in dry periods
  • Nitrogen fixation from legume species, less artificial fertiliser required
  • Extends the grazing season
  • Benefits carbon sequestration
  • Good livestock growth rates when rotationally grazed
  • Improves biodiversity of bird and insect species
  • Some species have anthelmintic properties – so less need for wormers

Key species of herbal leys

Grasses – energy rich

Legumes – protein rich

Herbs – provide micronutrients

Herbal ley species table 1
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