Clearing a way for the flowers
You might bump into our rangers and volunteers out on site with their saws and brush cutters, carrying on with the important work done by grazing cattle. They're busy clearing some of the scrub which is taking over.
Clearing scrub to stop it encroaching onto the special limestone grassland and out-competing the delicate limestone grassland plants is an ongoing task which is done every winter.
Bramble, hawthorn, blackthorn and bracken can soon take hold, taking up space and light so cutting back the plants when they are small makes the task more manageable.
Not all the scrub is cleared back at once though. A ‘mosaic’ of scrub and grassland is created so wildlife still needing the bramble or blackthorn for food and shelter can still survive in that habitat.
The cleared site can look dramatically different when it has first been cut but soon smaller more delicate plants like violets start to appear and add such colour and a source of food for many insects. Sites such as Jack Scout really benefit from scrub clearing and where parts of the site have been cleared in the past, orchids like autumn ladies tresses now flourish and spread.