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A meadow is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grass, herbs and other non-woody plants. They may be sparsely covered with trees or shrubs, as long as they maintain an open character. They are 'semi-natural grasslands', meaning that they are largely composed of species native to the region, with only limited human intervention. Meadows can occur naturally under favourable conditions (see perpetual meadows), but they are often maintained by humans for the production of hay, fodder and livestock. They attract a multitude of wildlife and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats. They provide areas for courtship displays, nesting, food gathering, pollinating insects, and sometimes sheltering, if the vegetation is high enough, making them ecologically important. There are multiple types of meadows, such as agricultural, transitional, and perpetual, each important to the ecosystem. Meadows may be naturally occurring or artificially created from cleared shrub or woodland.
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