As a part of our ongoing site management at Corehead, we have been tackling the bracken on the open slopes.
Bracken is a native plant species but it can become quite dominant. It can cover large areas which can impact on the land by reducing grazing areas, out competing with other native flora and swamping trees. See the link at the end of this article for more information from Scottish Natural Heritage.
Last year our contract farmer Jim went up onto the slopes in the Beef Tub and around the Skirtle and crushed the bracken. There are lots of ways to tackle bracken - crushing, cutting and spraying with herbicide to name but a few. Each have their benefits in different situations but we thought it would be best to crush the bracken on the slopes and assess how effective it was this year.
And the results? Very impressive really. You can see yourself in the picture below. The area on the left hand side is bracken that was untouched - the brown area is all the litter from last years dead bracken which forms a dense matt under which nothing can grow! The area on the right hand side is the crushed area. the bracken density has reduced dramatically.
We hope to continue with more crushing in these areas this year and we are doing different types of bracken management in other parts of our site. More to follow!