Scrub clearance in the Cotswolds

It's hard work keeping on top of the scrub

Despite it's untidy appearance, scrub is a really important habitat. Lots of rare plants and animals rely on scrub for their survival. However, if it's left unmanaged, it can quickly take over.

There are many areas of scrub in the Cotswolds that we look after and manage. Scrub is a temporary habitat that is in transition between one habitat and another. It's usually the area found between open grassland and woodland.

What is it?

It can be a few scattered hawthorn bushes, a patch of nettles and bramble, a dense thicket or young trees starting to grow.

Benefits of scrub

Scrubs support plants such as lichens, fungi and mosses which in turn provide food and shelter for invertebrates. Birds such as the yellowhammer, song thrush and tree sparrow use scrub for nesting and shelter. They also feed on the invertebrates and berries.

If it's so good, why control it?

If left unchecked, scrub would soon take over and turn valuable flower-rich grasslands into woodland.

Our work

The aim of our scrub-clearing work is not to remove the scrub entirely, but to check its advance so that it doesn't dominate.

The Duke of Burgundy butterfly
The Duke of Burgundy butterfly

Encouraging species

By managing the scrub we aim to protect or, in some cases, hope to welcome back species such as rock rose, thyme, cowslip and the early purple orchid. This in turn supports invertebrates like the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.