Calcareous grassland (or alkaline grassland) is an ecosystem associated with thin basic soil, such as that on chalk and limestone downland. Plants on calcareous grassland are typically short and hardy, and include grasses and herbs such as clover. Calcareous grassland is an important habitat for insects, particularly butterflies, and is kept at a plagioclimax by grazing animals, usually sheep and sometimes cattle. Rabbits used to play a part but due to the onset of myxomatosis their numbers decreased so dramatically that they no longer have much of a grazing effect.
In June, these meadows are covered with chalk grassland flowers.
There are beautiful areas of calcareous grassland in northeast Meuse, particularly areas of Villecloye, Velosnes, Othe, Torgny and Dun-sur-Meuse.
1. VILLECLOYE (Meuse)
Côte du Mont-Champ au Beuze
Type de milieu : Pelouses sèches
Typologie générale : Landes, prairies et pelouses
Surface protégée (Ha) : 19,7407
2. OTHE / VELOSNES (Meurthe-et-Moselle / Meuse)
Type de milieu : Pelouses sèches / Milieux cavernicoles artificiels
Typologie générale : Landes, prairies et pelouses / Milieux anthropisés
Surface protégée (Ha) : 23,9405
3. Pelouse calcaire en Val Dunois, sud de Dun-sur-Meuse