On Sunday the Southwood Volunteers joined us to vent any frustration by bashing bracken. Since patches of bracken are taking over the woodland in previous years it has been cut. Unfortunately this has had little impact because with such a large root system, the bracken is in effect just coppiced and comes back more lush. This can be seen where I’ve mown the paths.
This year our cunning plan was technologically advanced – well bash the bracken with large sticks. The idea is to bend or fray the stems to suppress the regrowth. Anyway the volunteers did a great job walloping sticks around in the heat. Now two areas to the north and south of the main heath glade have been bashed twice, which has had a dramatic effect already (see photo with twice bashed bracken in foreground). We expect to continue this management for 3 years and will monitor the regrowth. The volunteers also removed 200 tree guards from the now established hedge screen planting by the Copse entrance. After all that bracken bashing there was just time for a sunny picnic – thanks to Karen for the home made grub.