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Research Report

National Bracken Control Chemical Trials - Dumfries Phase 4, Year 2 Report

Date: 27 April 2023

Title: National Bracken Control Chemical Trials - Dumfries Phase 4, Year 2 Report

Author: Professor Roy Brown (R&D Applied Biology)

Description: The report provides further information on the efficacy and ecological safety of products containing asulam and amidosulfuron when used to control bracken. A comparison between the effects of different application rates applied early and late within the bracken season was undertaken, with year 1 and year 2 results concluding amidosulfuron generally is not a viable treatment for bracken. The results of the first year indicated asulam when applied late in the season and amidosulfuron applied early in the season, could be considered effective primary treatments. And a confirmation in year 2 with further amidosulfuron treatments ineffective after the first year.


ADAS Report: Comparative assessment of risks of two bracken herbicides

Date: 1 December 2022

Title: Comparative assessment of risks to non-target plants and soil invertebrates and soil persistence of two bracken herbicides: asulam and

Author: Sarah Cook, Steve Ellis, Susan Kelly, Marie Brown

Description: The report provides a comparative assessment of the two herbicides and indicates the strengths and
weaknesses against a range of higher and lower plants (bryophytes, pteridophytes) and soil
mesofauna. An indication of the strength of the evidence for each species is given, including
susceptibility at specific growth stages. Gaps in knowledge were identified and suggestions made for
further experimental work.


How long do bracken control treatments remain effective?

Date: 3 November 2022

Title: How long do bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn) control treatments maintain effectiveness? 

Author: Ilgın Akpınar, Josu G Alday

Description: Pteridium aquilinum is a problematic, perennial, invasive species worldwide that poses serious problems in the
British uplands. However, there is a lack of knowledge on long-term success in terms of weed control and land
improvement. We assessed the effects of six P. aquilinum-control treatments at two acid-grassland sites in the
Scottish Borders (Sourhope 1 & 2). 


National Bracken Chemical Control Trials

Date: 24 October 2022

Title: NBCCT 2022 Summary Report

Author: Roy Brown

Description: identification of features of amidosulfuron that had not be presented clearly previously including how the uptake of the herbicide by bracken occurs and the implications for control strategies.


Asulam Drift Trials 2022

Date: 24 October 2022

Title:To Evaluate the Drift from Aerial Applications of Asulox in North Yorkshire

Authors: Jeff Old, Roy Brown

Description: two further sets of trials data were collected to confirm the drift pattern from an aerial boom with Pencil Jet nozzles used to apply Asulam to bracken to help in making informed decisions relating to the revision of the required buffer zone against waterbodies.  This additional data combined with the 2021 data adds more support to the reduction of the current buffer zone from 90m.


Asulam and Wet Flush Moorland Plants

Date: 16 February 2022

Title: The effect of asulam herbicide on wet flush moorland plant communities on the North York Moors National Park

Authors: Roy Brown, S Holloway

Description: A series of transects were established across sprayed and unsprayed wet flushes to determine the effects, if any, of direct asulam spray and drift on the plant communities.  The original report was prepared in 1995, but it has been reviewed to allow it to contribute to the current discussions about the use of Asulam.  See the conclusions on p27 of the report, "The effect of asulam on wet flush plant communities was found to be minimal with a significant number of sensitive species including P. aquilinum remaining. Sphagnums and rushes had not been reduced in diversity or density in the sprayed flush ...."


National Bracken Chemical Control Trials - Reprise Reports - Author: Roy Brown

Fawdon Farm 2020 + 2021 Reprise Report - 25 October 2021

Sandscale 2021 Reprise Report - 14 November 2021 

Dumfries3 Final Report years 4-5 - 10 December 2021

Challacombe 2019 Final Reprise Report - 10 December 2021

Asulam Drift Trials

Date: 19 September 2021

Title: To Evaluate the Drift from Aerial Application of Asulox

Author: Jeff Old, Roy Brown

Description: further data are provided to evaluate the drift pattern from Pencil Jet nozzles and to allow informed decisions to be made about the required buffer zone against surface water bodies during aerial application of Asulam products for bracken control.


Bracken Canopy Penetration Trials

Date: 15 September 2021

Title: An evaluation of the Penetration of Ground Applied Asulox through a Dense (90% plus cover) Bracken Canopy

Author: Jeff Old, Roy Brown

Description: generic information is provided on the role of the bracken canopy in intercepting spray volume applied at approved rates, using standard back pack spraying equipment.


National Bracken Chemical Control Trials

Date: 29 January 2021

Title: NBCCT 2012-20 Final Summary Report

Author: Roy Brown


Location Plan - Schedules  - Tables

National Bracken Chemical Control Trials - Site Dumfries 4

Date: 16 November 2020

Title: Testing alternative Herbicides for Bracken Control - Initial Set-Up Report

Author: Roy Brown



Date: 25 October 2021

Title: Testing alternative Herbicides for Bracken Control - Interim Report (Year 1)

Author: Roy Brown