Bracken Control

Bracken's invasive tendencies have made it a cause of concern for moorland managers across Britain. Left unchecked, bracken will quickly shade out and destroy more ecologically valuable habitats, restricting the natural regeneration of other moorland plants and providing a breeding ground for dangerous ticks.

The Heather Trust believes that a bracken control programme is an important component of a moorland management plan.

There are many forms of bracken control from hand pulling and mechanised cutting to the aerial application of chemical control agents, which is carried out principally using products containing asulam.

The Trust has long pushed for better coordination between the different organisations with an interest in the control of bracken. The ban imposed by the EU on asulam products (which was fully effective from 1 January 2013) provided the trigger for the formation of The Bracken Control Group, and the Trust was asked to coordinate the activity of this group.


The Trust has submitted the applications for Emergency Authorisations on behalf of the Bracken Control Group.  These authorisations permit the use of asulam for a restricted period that covers the bracken control season.

Full re-registration of asulam has been applied for but if approved, this may not be effective until 2019. Until then, the Bracken Control Group will keep applying for Emergency Authorisations so that asulam will continue to be available.


Members' Briefings​

We periodically publish briefings on a variety of subjects which are relevant to moorland managers. These introductory briefings are available below as PDFs and are free for members and visitors to read or download.

Bracken Control

So What? Guides


Our So What? Guides explain the scientific conclusions so that practitioners can make good decisions based on the latest research.

So What? Bracken