Southwood Bracken Bash

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.

Ranger Stuart

Southwood bracken bash

Southwood bracken bash

SWIG picnic

SWIG picnic

About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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