Quantock Hills Blog



Tim Russell

Posted by Tim Russell on 04 March 2010

WE ARE SWALING Over the next three weeks Rangers will be out on the hills organising the annual swaling programme.  Swaling (heather burning) is carried out to maintain the nationally important heathlands that the Quantocks are so well known for.

Ecological burns (along with grazing) are vital to ensure that the heathland does not scrub up and that habitats for reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates are maintained.
So do not be too concerned if you notice plumes of smoke coming from the hills until the end of this month.  Rangers will be working with colleagues in the National Trust and assisted by trained volunteers.
In the meantime, if you would like to read more about the benefits of swaling and how it is carried out, please click on the link below to see our article in this March’s edition of Somerset Life.


After several dry days, thanks due to high pressure, specially trained Volunteers met Tim, the National Trust Wardens and Andy last Thursday to begin the swaling season.

Two sites were selected near to Staple Plain car park on Thursday with another being undertaken just above Herridge Combe on Friday.  All burns went extremely well and it’s a great feeling to have some “in the bag”, just another dozen or so to do before the end of the month

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