It's wilder than you might think.

About Us

My photo
As members of the National Trust for Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Countryside Team, we manage properties across Dumfries and Galloway, including Threave Estate and Nature Reserve; Rockcliffe Property; Venniehill; The Murray's Isles and Bruce's Stone. Our task is to conserve and maintain the variety of habitats and species present, at the same time managing the sites for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.

12 July 2012

Thank You:

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.


  1. First time I've read this blog - very interesting! Now I know how to start tackling the bramble in the wooded part of my garden!
    Good to see that the Red Squirrels are still around too ( re earlier posting)

  2. Hi scotsfran. Glad you found the blog interesting. Keep checking for more updates, events and bits and bobs. If you are around the Dumfries & Galloway area be sure to pop down to our reserves and see the wonderful wildlife in person. It looks even better than in the photos.