Clearing a way for the flowers

Sandscale Haws clearing gorse

Tall grasses and scrub like hawthorn, gorse and bramble can eventually take over the sand dunes as they get older. The rangers and volunteers here at Sandscale Haws work hard each year to clear the scrub and make way for the flowers.

Scrub is good to have as part of a mosaic of habitats but left alone will take over the whole sand dune crowding out space for the special dune grasslands and the flowers that grow and birds that nest there.

Cutting down scrub
Sandscale Haws cutting scrub
Cutting down scrub

Climate change amongst other things has made the conditions perfect for scrub to spread and grow and even with cattle grazing the young scrub, hawthorn, gorse and bramble can take over.

The rangers and volunteers carry out annual cutting of the scrub. Look out for them carrying out their winter task of cutting and dragging the scrub over lots of dunes as they burn the scrub brash on a bonfire.

Burning scrub brash
Sandscale Haws burning scrub
Burning scrub brash

The fires are raised up off the ground on a metal platform to prevent any damage to the ground beneath and logs are taken to heat the ranger offices in the winter.