Quantock Hills Blog

Good results for bracken spraying

- You may have noticed a slight change in the abundance of bracken on the hills this year.

Andy Harris

Posted by Andy Harris on 16 July 2010

Good results for bracken spraying Last summer the Commoners led a contract to spray areas of bracken by helicopters with the aim of helping stop the spread of this plant and ultimately the loss of the very valuable heathland.

 

Bracken is an important component of heathland but it is able to spread quite quickly and will eventually dominate heathland species such as heather and whortleberry.  Dense bracken is also a popular habitat for Ticks and research has shown numbers of Ticks have been on the up.

It takes a full year to see the benefits of the bracken spraying which uses a herbicide called Asulox that targets only the bracken plant and it is pleasing to report that everyone involved in planning the spraying is delighted with the results.  Significant areas of heath that were being swallowed up have been given another chance to re-establish itself increasing this rare habitat for wildlife and the grazing livestock.

Bracken control will be ongoing and some more is planned for this year; continuing to help protect and enhance this wonderfully rich habitat.


Comments in chronological order (Total 3 comments)

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  • No avatar available
    bill gulliford

    17 Jul 10

    I have noticed where you have sprayed the bracken just above Trendle Ring, including the bits you missed. It really does stand out when viewed from the bus on the main road. The effect is a tremendous improvement. When you plan to do more spraying can you please provide advanced warning on your website so that people such as myself can plan our days in the hills accordingly in order to avoid the areas being treated.

    Best Wishes,
    Bill.


  • No avatar available
    Quantock Hills

    19 Jul 10

    The contract has run by Natural England in the past so we do not actually get advance notification.  If we do get any advance notice of course we will let you know through this website, Facebook and Twitter.  As bracken spraying is very weather dependent, trying to give accurate advance notice can be problematic - prevailing weather conditions need to be both very low wind and no rain forecast for a few hours after.  Watch this space!


  • No avatar available
    bill gulliford

    19 Jul 10

    Being fully qualified and licensed to handle agrochemicals I fully understand the problems regarding the weather and fully sympathise with the operators in charge of the operation. However, even an indication of the areas likely to be sprayed in a particular year is, in itself, useful advice, inasmuch that it will alert the general public to the possibility of spraying operations at short or even no notice in order to get the best environmental impact from the operation. I, for one would urge the general public to be aware of this situation and give you their full cooperation.

    Best Wishes,
    Bill


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