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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Tree and scrub clearance from heathland at Blackhill SSSI, Dorset, England

Published source details

Liley D. (2005) Tree and scrub clearance from heathland at Blackhill SSSI, Dorset, England. Conservation Evidence, 2, 125-126

Summary

During the winter of 1995-1996 on a heathland in southern England, 1.6 ha of invading silver birch Betula pendula (40% cover) and gorse Ulex europaeus were cleared using chainsaws and burnt on site. Ten years later, the cut birch and gorse stumps were still visible; the area was largely covered in dense bracken Pteridium aquilinum (average cover of 70% over 5 plots), the only gaps being the fire sites (predominantly bare) and a few patches of purple moor grass Molinia caerulea. Little heather Calluna vulgaris was present and there was considerable evidence of birch regeneration, suggesting that further management would be necessary to prevent invasion by scrub.