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)

Add your comment

  • 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,

  • 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,

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Stay in the loop

Annual Reports

View Annual reports from the Quantock AONB Service

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund

The Quantock Hills AONB Service now has a Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund providing grants of up to £20,000 to local communities, farmers, landowners and individuals. The fund has been provided by EDF Energy and is part of the mitigation measures associated with the Hinkley Point C development.

Information leaflets

Find out more about the geology of the Quantock Hills AONB, why the heathland is so important for birds, the red deer on the Quantocks and why the history of the landscape is so special.

Other organisations and activities in the Quantocks

A few things you might find interesting from organisations we work with in the Quantocks

Photography Competition Entry Form

Please down load and return with your fabulous entries

Policys and Codes of Conduct

Everyone enjoys spending their time on the hills doing different activities. Below are some guidance and policy documents to ensure they are carried out safely and that wider regulations are followed.

Quantock Deer Count Results

Annual deer count results for 2010 to 2017

Quantock Hills and Planning

Downloadable documents for you to better understand the Quantock AONB and planning processes

Quantock Hills Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) Papers 2014 - 2017

Papers from the partnership committee the Joint Advisory Committee

Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019

This is the the Quantock Hills Management Plan 2014 - 2019. It will guide work carried out to protect and enhance the Quantock Hills by the AONB team and all our partners. It has been agreed by the Secretary of State for the Environment and adopted by Somerset County Council, West Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Quantock Hills Visitor Guide

Recreation Leaflets

a full range of leaflets from circular walks to event guides and leaflets to allow you to enjoy the best of the hills

Terms and Conditions for Quantock Hills Facebook page

Terms and Conditions for http://www.facebook.com/Quantock.hills

Tick Leaflet

Ticks are becoming more common and a bite from this spider-like parasite could lead to Lyme Disease. This is a treatable infection caused by bacterium transmitted by ticks when they bite. Not every tick carries Lyme Disease and it is important to realise that the disease is relatively rare.


Useful Contacts

Quantock AONB Service
Tel: 01823 451 884

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01823 652 400

National Trust
Tel: 01823 451 814

Forestry Commission
Tel: 01278 732 319