GRT Countryside Care
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Heather and Gorse Management
Heather and gorse management

Heather is one of the most important components of open moorland vegetation communities and habitats. Gorse is a valuable wildlife and landscape feature however it can be invasive.

Appropriate management of heather and gorse has both conservation and economic significance. Heather and gorse have long been managed by burning / cutting. The purpose of burning is to restructure the vegetation so that feeding and nesting sites are provided.

Heather burning encourages fresh new growth to sprout from existing heather plants, removes dead material and recycles nutrient. GRT Countryside Care uses a specialized water bowser made for this purpose to keep burning under control.

By burning tall scrub we reduce its bulk and volume. However, because of the size of the scrub a considerable amount of tall and woody material remains. Initially the ground flora will still recover but subsequent management such as herbicide application for bracken control or even access to the area by grazing stock can be almost impossible.

GRT Countryside care uses a specialized Swipe that is capable of reducing and breaking down the remaining burnt scrub to provide the maximum opportunity for recovery of the ground vegetation. Some machines reduce the material to a mulch which traps the moisture and slows the break down and regeneration process. The swipe we use reduces the burnt material just enough to encourage the breakdown process of the resulting litter and maximises the regeneration of the ground flora.