On 2nd and 3rd August 2022, Barbara Hadrill and her horse Molly travelled from mid Wales and spent 2 days on Norbury hill rolling several acres of bracken. Bracken is a problem on the hill with about half our land (or 20 acres) dominated by it (some 2m tall). We never expect to eradicate it but to reduce it in order to produce more of a mosaic of habitats.
It is important to get the bracken at its point of maximum growth when all of its energy will have gone into growing and a minimum amount returned to the rhizomes
The roller flattens and bruises the bracken at the same time. Hopefully the hot weather forecast for this week will further kill it.
This activity is part of a long term strategy to gradually reduce the bracken and allow grass and herbs to re establish. In some areas there are remnants of acid grassland with plants such as Wavy hair grass, Tormentil, Harebell and Heath bedstraw which we hope will gradually come back.
Thank you to the people who came on site to be near Barbara when she was working in an isolated spot, to Paul and Pat for hosting Barbara and Molly, to the Stepping Stones project and Green Recovery Challenge Fund for financing it.
(Rob Rowe, August 2022)