Bracken Control

Date published: 18 November, 2021

This capital item is to fund the removal of bracken to clear planting positions free of vegetation.

It can only be applied for in conjunction with a woodland creation option.

Operations to clear bracken should be completed prior to planting the area that is being cleared, with the bracken control claim year being no more than 1 year before the initial planting claim year; or exceptionally during the year of planting.

Please note that the bracken control capital item cannot be claimed after the initial planting has been claimed.

This standard cost is available for all 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

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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