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Wharncliffe Heath

Last Saturday we headed back to Wharncliffe Heath to help out with some bracken clearing. It was a great turn out, with 21 of us in total including 15 of us from uni and 6 Wharncliffe Heathland trustees. It was pretty chilly but the walk up the hill and hard work kept us from getting too cold!

We spent most of the day cutting and raking the dead bracken into piles. This allows grass or tree seedlings to grow from the exposed soil, instead of being covered by the bracken. Reducing the impact of bracken on land is a very long process, as even when you cut what is on top of the ground the plant underneath the soil (rhizomes) are still alive. We did our part by clearing away the top layer to allow other plants to grow, then the grazing animals help by trampling the area to damage the rhizomes, hopefully reducing the future extent of the bracken.

Once we had finished our work for the day we were treated to a tour of the reserve by David Buttle. The reserve has some really interesting history and hosts some rare birds in the summer months. I’m certainly looking forward to coming back later on in the year to see the reserve in its full glory, with the heather in bloom and to do some bird watching.

Thank you very much to everyone for coming and to David for hosting a great day for us again.

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