Bracken and Bramble Control

Bracken and brambles are a common problem for many landowners and woodland managers which Carnog Working Horses can help solve in a low-impact way. 

Bracken is such an invasive species that it can quickly take hold and diminish valuable grazing land or impair woodland regeneration.  A variety of methods have been tried in the past from cutting to poisoning with chemicals flown in by plane.  The only way to successfully combat bracken is to weaken the rhizomes (creeping stems lying under the soil).  Cutting can actually stimulate growth and so can exacerbate the problem. 

Chemicals are not only expensive but costly to the environment as well.  When the common chemical Asulox comes into contact with a water source, it becomes very toxic indeed.  In addition bracken often grows on hard to reach, remote and steep sites which are inaccessible by tractor or quad bikes. 

Horse drawn bracken bashing is extremely effective with low-impact, avoiding chemicals, causing no damage to the surrounding environment.  Carnog Working Horses use an award-winning roller to bruise the stems and knock the plant flat to the ground.  It slowly 'bleeds' to death and is substantially knocked back.  Depending on how vigorous the plant was and how dense the growth is, the bracken can be eradicated by one or two further treatments. 

This can either be in the same season if the initial work is done early enough, or in the following season.  If this is accompanied by a suitable management regime, such as grazing, then the bracken can be kept at bay. In woodlands or areas of natural regeneration, tree saplings are not effected by the roller, neither are other ferns. All of these 'pop' back up again after the roller has moved on. 

Invasive brambles can also be treated in the same way as bracken.

From our base in the Tanat Valley near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, we find that there is a high demand for bracken rolling, so contact us soon to book us for work.  The season is usually from June to the end of August, depending on the growth.  Barbara Haddrill featured in the local Blewyn Glas magazine with a report by Meic Llewellyn and also in the Shropshire Star on 27th July 2013 bashing bracken at the Nant Mawr Nature Reserve for the Shropshire Wildlife Trust to help promote the pearl-bordered fritillary.

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