Thursday, 20 October 2011

don't blame the foreigners!

Interested to read in the RHS magazine 'The Garden' (November 2011) that native plants notably ivy (Hedera helix), bramble (Rubus fruticosa) and bracken (Pteridum aquilinum) were found to be the dominant species in over a hundred surveyed sites. Their impact was far greater than 'alien' species.

The Cordwod site certainly bears witness to this. These three native plants are the dominant understorey and although having some wildlife benefit, crowd out other plants so that the flora on site is extremely limited. Only a tiny clump of native bluebells have been found on our six acre site and until earth was disturbed by fencing, no native foxgloves were recorded at all.

 Like ours, the sites surveyed would be ones were woodland management has been neglected for decades.

To restore floral biodiversity we must draw from the woodlanders' skills of the past and coppice, have trees of various ages from young trees to veterans and aggressively remove invasive species like bramble, ivy and bracken.

The photo shows an area after the brambles and nettles have been removed. Imagine it with bluebells and native primroses in springs of the future!

Post a Comment