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Scottish Forestry triples bracken control grant rate

Scottish Forestry officials have confirmed the payment will rise from £225 to £720 per hectare, in a bid to increase the country's woodland creation levels, as reported by Forestry Journal. The triple grant rate increase concerns the manual and mechanical bracken control in Scotland, in hopes of helping crofters and farmers wishing to establish or expand woodland and integrate trees into their business. Mairi Gougeon stated “Ultimately, this will help in getting new trees in the ground, resulting in a welcome boost to our yearly woodland creation targets”.   

With the removal of asulox from the bracken control toolbelt, mechanical methods such as machine, hand rolling, cutting or whipping will need to be implemented instead. The growth of bracken is an increasing concern, and the support for new woodland creation could see these two issues tackled together. mentions Scotland's very ambitious woodland creation targets rising yearly – reaching 18,000 ha of new woodland by 2024/5. But to achieve these targets, a collective effort from government, landowners, forestry and environment sectors, communities, farmers and crofters will be needed. 

The increase in support for bracken control also comes in advance of the Woodland Creation Summit which is to be held in Perthshire on 12th December.

For more go to:

Scotland triples bracken control grant for woodland growth | The Scottish Farmer

Scottish Forestry triples bracken control grant rate | Forestry Journal

Scottish Forestry - Boost for bracken control 

Bracken management not control - a sign of the times?

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust highlight the importance of bracken control and the increasing concerns to the environment, human health and wildlife. 

An excerpt reads: "The decision to reduce the toolkit available for vegetation management as well as policy support for extensification and rewilding is evidence of the wider trend within land management policy for reduced management and fewer interventions. Management has become synonymous with intensification whereas in fact it should be considered part of caring for our land. A worrying sign of the times".

For the full news post, go to GWCT Blog News

Bracken Boom linked to Cancer

Airborne bracken spores have long been linked to cancer, and with the rate of bracken cover advancing, it's becoming an area in need of further and more up to date investigations. Exposure to higher levels in the countryside are a worry to walkers, farmers and forestry workers with risk to both themselves and livestock. Bracken can be highly toxic and airborne bracken spore concentrations in both rural and urban settings had been suggested, along with the development of a more 'coherent policy' when it comes to controlling bracken.


Further info:

from: Bracken boom's link to cancer | The Herald (

The latest on Bracken links to Cancer (2020-2024)

caultonpdf.ashx (

A ten year study of the incidence of spores of bracken, (Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn.) in an urban rooftop airstream in south east Scotland | Aerobiologia (

Horses & Bracken Control?

Could Crunchie, Teasel and Twinkletoes really have an impact on controlling bracken? This trio team of horses was brought in to tackle the growing problem of bracken on the Malvern Hills and was noted for its lower environmental impact when compared to other methods such as tractors. 

For the full article go to: Horses brought in to control bracken on Malvern Hills - BBC News