Species-rich semi-natural grasslands provide an essenti al contributi on to the preservati on of European biodiversity. They are ecosystems rich in nati ve, oft en rare or endemic plants and habitats necessary for many animal species. such as birds and insects of great conservati on importance. They are also highly benefi cial to the water quality and present usually a very low risk of soil erosion. However, in the last few decades, abandonment of surfaces more diffi cult to culti vate and increased ferti lizati on have considerably reduced their area. It is therefore important to conserve the sti ll existi ng examples of such grasslands and promote restorati on of new ones on areas with both farm and non-farm use. Modern ecological restorati on, as process of assisti ng the recovery of ecosystems which have been degraded, damaged or destroyed, is based on two main principles: • nati ve biodiversity must be protected through the use of only nati ve seeds and plants; • propagati on material must come from donor sites with ecological characteristi cs similar to the receptor site. To obtain seeds of nati ve ecotypes consistent with the ecological and biological conditi ons of the receptor site, direct harvesti ng from semi-natural grasslands can be an excellent strategy especially in highly variable environments. To implement it in the best way, appropriate selecti on of the donor site and correct uti lizati on of the harvesti ng techniques are important.