Bracken spraying on Burrington Common

Thursday 12th July 2018

For many years bracken has been an increasing problem on Black Down and Burrington Ham. The heathland in this area is home for many species and is threatened by the spreading bracken.

The intention is to create a ‘mosaic’ where some bracken remains but where the heathland plants like heather and bilberry can grow stronger. The work is being carried out under the Countryside Stewardship agreement between the landowner and Natural England.

The bracken is being controlled with a herbicide called ASULOX and will be sprayed from a helicopter. As yet the exact date is unknown but this will be broadcast when available.

Bracken Q & A
Q. Why should bracken be controlled?
A. It is a plant that spreads rapidly onto land and here it threatens the heathland that contains a wider variety of plants and animals.

Q. Why can’t the animals live on bracken?
A. Bracken is poisonous to animals, and it is a breeding ground for ticks which can carry Lymes Disease.

Q. Why do you have to spray?
A. The Land is too rough and hilly for other methods of control to work effectively.

Q. What is ASULOX?
A. ASULOX has been used safely for over 40 years. It is a selective herbicide which controls bracken but not the important habitat species such as heather. The constituents are broken down rapidly into harmless substances even in water. This is why ASULOX is approved for use up to 20m near water.

The bracken is not sprayed indiscriminately, it is part of a long term programme to make Black Down and Burrington Ham a better habitat.

If you have any worries about spraying please call Polo Aviation Ltd 01934 877000 or to find out more about bracken control click here.