Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Keeping a record.

Rather late in the day I've started a visual record of  some of the changes our interventions have made in Old Copse. Thinning and felling to let in more light brings gratifyingly fast changes. Plants  spring up immediately -  though frustratingly, most of them are soon devoured by deer.

The photographs below attempt to show the effects of making clearings and Rides, and controlling the bracken. Three years ago a clearing was made at the northern end of OC1 in the birch near the road boundary.  We bashed the bracken throughout the subsequent summers, the result being a significant  increase in  bluebells and foxgloves. However, here we go again, as this season's bracken returns with a vengeance.

Bluebells in the clearing in OC1 after three years of bracken bashing

Adjoining this area is another clearing in OC2. There are not many birch, so there is plenty of light, and the bracken is particularly gigantic and thuggish. At the end of the winter the clearing is choked with heaps of the remains of last years bracken, resulting in a struggling flower population. This area, together with the 'new ride' will be kept free of bracken to encourage the bluebells to re-colonise . It would be great if there was an easier way to keep the bracken down. Herbicides are an option, but we are reluctant to use these.

Bluebells in adjoining area in OC2 (no bracken bashing)

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