One of our main achievements this year has been obtaining funding from Herefordshire Council for the biodiversity plan for the common for the next 3 to 5 years. The plan and our progress to-date is outlined below.
To be done twice a year. Cut wide with the additional width alternating from one side to the other each year where possible.
1st cut to be done when the bracken is 3-4 feet high, still soft and snaps easily. This will probably in late May/June. This will be a high cut, approximately 12-18 inches above ground.
2nd cut when bracken has fully regrown, between August and October.
Progress September 2023
Tracks are being cut as planned. The first cut was a foot off the ground occurred in June 2023. This enabled wild- flowers and yellow rattle to remain in place and cleared bracken for others to be established. The second cut is planned for end of September/ beginning October 2023, which will enable seeds to be established from existing plants.
Cut once a year as late as possible, no earlier than end September/October
To be collected and stored with regard to minimising the risk of spontaneous combustion.
Progress September 2023
Cutting of the grasslands has been commissioned with this specification for the end of September beginning of October.
Bracken bruising by heavy horses occurred on two sites on the common on 17th August 2023. One area, to the east of the football pitch, was heavily brackened with bracken up to 6 feet. It is anticipated that in the spring bluebells and other flowers will be now visible. Wild cherry trees are amongst the native shrubs now visible and freed to grow. The other area at the lower southern slopes of the Jubilee hill had previously been cut to grass and collected. Yellow rattle and wild-flowers were already growing here and unaffected by the bruising. It is anticipated the bruising will enhance this.
The areas will be monitored for success by comparing neighbouring bracken and grassland which have not been bruised or have been cut instead. It takes 3 years for a significant change to occur.
Wildflower and biodiversity planting
Wild-flowers have been planted throughout the year. including Devils Bit Scabious, Calluna vulgaris, Salad Burnett, Tansy, Dyers , rare grasses and Calamagrostis epigeos.
A total of 450 plugs have been planted on 3rd and 8th November 2022
Plugs for this year have been purchased and will shortly be planted. All planting is undertaken by a team of local volunteers, do join if you are interested.
2023 will be the first year of our 10 year woodland improvement programme, funded by the Rural Payments Agency. We will be thinning and coppicing some parts of the woodland to support the existing trees and increase biodiversity through letting more light into the rides. We will also be exploring funding opportunities for honouring the marvellous heritage which is Bringsty Common.
Strengthening our sense of community is one of our key aims. And communication is a vital element in fulfilling that aim. So we need someone with good written communication skills to produce the Commoner. The job can be tailored to suit the individual and the time available. If you might be interested do please let me know.
Feedback If you have any feedback on anything in this issue of the Commoner then why not use our Facebook group – Bringsty Folk – or contact me on [email protected].
Bringsty Common Manorial Court Chair