Bracken Primary Treatment

Date published: 30 March, 2015

There are three individual treatments you can apply for, as outlined below.

These are for the treatment of bracken to encourage natural regeneration, or to provide planting positions free of surface vegetation.

You must record the area designated for treatment on a map and give the management reasons for the operation in your application to demonstrate how this meets the objectives of the Woodland Improvement Grant – Habitats and Species option.

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 Woodland Improvement Grant application map.

Your map must also evidence the net area of hectares for each of the three treatment costs you will be claiming grant on.

Primary 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

We require the site cleared of bracken to have evidence of active natural regeneration establishment or have planted trees growing for a period of at least five years following the date you received your payment.

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.

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