Jeff Shea and his Suffolk Punch, Alex, have made a great difference to the Common by rolling the bracken twice this year. It is significantly weakened. Heather on the top area is now well established (as is a carpet of Silver Birch seedlings) and on Thursday we were surprised and delighted to find heather beginning to appear on the bottom area too.
Jeff and Alex pulled up the tall birch saplings which had colonised the old heather on the fringes of the bottom area and Dick used a Tree Popper to extract smaller ones on the cleared area. There was a big, hot bonfire which also dealt with piles of brash from previous birch felling by Easton College students.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust is finding some tough ponies, possibly Dartmoor ponies, to graze off the birch seedlings and further trample the bracken.
The next major stage in the Management Plan is the felling of some birch trees on the perimeter to reduce the amount of seed blown over the heath.
Alex pulled up some whacking great big roots.
Jeff planning how to pull a birch out from the middle of a gorse thicket.
Dick using the Tree Popper – plenty more to do!
Sue and Dick