Managing rhododendron on Abinger Roughs

Wild rhododendron on Abinger Roughs

We’re looking after a wonderful legacy from when the Roughs was laid out as a wilderness garden for the public to wonder and enjoy....

Rhododendron is a non-indigenous evergreen shrub which was planted on Abinger Roughs in the 1800’s (the area was formerly part of the Abinger Hall Estate).

Wild rhododendron

The wild form of rhododendron ‘ponticum’ is an aggressive coloniser that reduces the biodiversity value of a site and obstructs the natural regeneration of woodlands.

Our rangers, volunteers and contractors will be working during the cooler months to clear areas of ‘ponticum’. As well as man-power, in some places, we’ll be using machinery to clear and burn the debris. Follow up chemical control may be required to prevent further regrowth, as they can sometimes be extremely difficult to control.

Specimen rhododendron and azaeleas

These shrubs are quite different from their wild relative as they do not spread by seed or root tip and are therefore easier to manage.

We’ll clear around the specimens and maintain the area to prevent the wild ‘ponticum’ rootstock from taking over. Hopefully you’ll see the fruits of this work over the years and be able to visit and admire the beautiful flowers around May time.