Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Bracken & thistle thrashing at Hardcastle Crags on 22nd July 2018

Another warm summer’s day at Hardcastle Crags, this time we joined up with the ranger and local volunteers to clear a field which is a SSSI site for waxcap fungi.

In order to allow the fungi to grow the NT want to have the field grazed by sheep to keep vegetation down.  To be worth putting sheep in the field we first had to clear the bracken, thistles and ragwort – oh and some Himalayan balsam that had managed to grow into the brambles.

We left some of the marsh thistles (or hairy thistles as we called them (see picture 1)) and removed the creeping thistles (picture 2).

Picture 1
Picture 2
Before and after bracken clearing (pictures 3 & 4).  For those of you who were at Hardcastle Crags last time, this is the field beside the path just below where we had lunch.  The balsam clearing we did then has been effective - it doesn’t look like the remaining plants will get to seed this year.

Picture 3

Picture 4

We used a new tool for clearing bracken and thistles, a Chillington hoe, which allowed you to get at the roots (picture 5).

Picture 5
Good luck waxcap fungi - we did our best to give you a nice home.


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