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Control Programme

Bracken control should occur as a part of a programme of work and for large areas a plan should be drawn up. The local conservation agency is likely to require this, if the work is to take place on a designated site.

The plan should cover the following issues and is more easily understood if it includes an annotated map:

  • Map showing the location of the bracken beds;
  • Identify the bracken that is suitable for control;
  • Measure the area of bracken to be controlled;
  • Indicate the technique(s) to be used for each area;
  • The programme of work (it may be appropriate to spread the programme over several years)
  • Proposals for follow up treatment.

It is unlikely that it will be possible to control every frond of bracken. As part of the planning process, a priority should be attached to each area of bracken to aid the decision about the location of control work. The likely outcome of the control programme should also be considered.

If the bracken bed is well established, it is possible that the bracken litter has suppressed all other vegetation. If the area is also on a steep slope, after the bracken is killed, it is possible that this could lead to severe erosion. In this instance, an alternative approach may be better, such as planting the area with trees.