A big thanks to all the volunteers who came down to Rockcliffe to help with the bracken management. The group put in a lot of effort and got a lot done.
We manage bracken in the meadow areas as it has become very invasive and out competes the wildflowers which are beneficial to many insects such as bees and butterflies.
The management technique involves damaging the stem of the bracken so that it puts its energy into repairing the stem. After a number of years of this management the plants vigour is reduced and the bracken canopy starts to thin, giving other species the opportunity to flourish. To damage the stems a technique called swiping is undertaken. This involves swiping with a metal stick as in the picture above. This is used in conjunction with a bracken roller pulled by a quad bike. The advantage of the swiping by hand is that more care can be taken to avoid wildflowers as shown in the picture below.