Bracken Control

Date published: 7 October, 2017

For recent changes to this guidance, please see the bottom of the page.

This is for the treatment of bracken to provide planting positions free of surface vegetation.

This capital item is for clearing bracken prior to the initial planting of the site.

This standard cost is available for all the woodland creation options.

A minimum of two hectares of contiguous bracken requiring treatment must be present.

You must not treat bracken by chemical or mechanical means within identified sensitive areas or buffer zones, however manual means can be employed but this must be clearly delineated on your map.

Treatment of bracken can be carried out by:

  • chemical treatment – spraying must use an approved chemical for bracken control. If aerial spraying, the spray operator must have a permit from the Chemicals Regulation Directorate. If spraying near water you must have Scottish Environment Protection Agency authorisation
  • mechanical treatment – bracken should be controlled using machines with appropriate fittings to cut, roll, or flail. Control must be undertaken at least twice during the growing season
  • manual treatment – bracken should be whipped early in the growing season to sever the tender young bracken fronds before they are hardened off. The fronds may be cut cleanly by hand using light whips, made from slender hardwood stems, or thin metal rods. Control must be undertaken at least twice during the growing season

Further information

Bracken Control: A Guide to Best Practice

The Bracken Control Group

Please make sure you abide by conditions set out in the Forestry Grant Scheme claim form and guidance.

Recent changes

Section Change
Main textSentence added: 'This capital item is for clearing bracken prior to the initial planting of the site.'

Previous versions

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