Caring for Cadbury Camp

Bracken growing in the field at Cadbury Camp

We have entered into a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement with Natural England to help us manage this important site. The main aims of a stewardship agreement are to conserve wildlife and maintain biodiversity, to maintain and enhance landscape quality and character, to protect the historic environment and natural resources and to promote public access and understanding of the countryside.

The main areas of work at Cadbury Camp are to remove trees, particularly Turkey oaks which are growing on the earth works of the Iron Age Hill fort, to restore the species-rich limestone grassland, to control the bracken and to maintain the woodland areas.

Removing trees from the hill fort

We aim to remove nearly all the trees from the hill fort by 2016, to stop them damaging this important archaeological site. Their removal will also benefit the limestone grassland and improve the views from the Camp.

Turkey oaks

A large number of the trees to be felled are Turkey oaks, which are non-native trees and are co-hosts for gall wasps.The gall wasp causes knopper gall on the acorns of our native oaks, which reduces their seed set.

Managing grassland

The limestone grassland at Cadbury Camp is herb-rich, contains some rare plants and is of high nature conservation value. The best way to manage this grassland is by grazing. Grazing animals eat selectively and often choose the more dominant plants, which allows less competitive plants to become established and increases diversity. As they graze across the landscape, the animals decide for themselves where to concentrate their efforts and create a mosaic of different grass lengths and micro habitats. The animals do however, need our help when it comes to bracken, which we cut to stop it from taking over.

Managing woodland

The scrub, within and around the woodlands, adds structural diversity and provides feeding and nesting habitats for birds, insects and mammals. There are also a number of rare and uncommon plants which can be found here, such as the greater butterfly orchid and early purple orchid.
We aim to increase diversity of some of the woodland areas through careful management.