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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restoring heathland vegetation by turf-stripping wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa dominated grassland at The Lodge RSPB Reserve, Bedfordshire, England

Published source details

Wilton-Jones G. & Ausden M. (2005) Restoring heathland vegetation by turf-stripping wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa dominated grassland at The Lodge RSPB Reserve, Bedfordshire, England. Conservation Evidence, 2, 66-67


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Strip topsoil Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A controlled study in 1995–2005 in a former heathland in central England, UK (Wilton-Jones & Ausden 2005) reported that turf removal promoted an increase in heather Calluna vulgaris and reduced the dominance of wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa. After 10 years, the percentage cover of heather was higher in the area where turf had been stripped (65%) than in the unstripped area (1%). Additionally, the percentage cover of wavy-hair grass was lower in the stripped (5%) than in the unstripped area (80%) whereas the percentage cover of bracken Pteridium aquilinum did not change between stripped and unstripped areas (5%) (results are not based on statistical tests). In October/November 1995 turf was removed to a depth of approximately 10 cm from an area of about 600 m² of wavy hair-grass-dominated acid grassland using a mini-digger with a dozer attachment. Vegetation cover was visually estimated in April 2005.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)