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Frond or foe – how do we tackle the bracken blight?

A frond of bracken unfurling

Bracken - regarded as a dominant carcinogenic blight on our countryside, yet a valued habitat for some wildlife species. Whatever your view on this ancient and widespread plant, it requires active management across many and varied landscapes.

With the removal of Asulox in 2023 as a targeted chemical control agent, many land managers are at a crossroads on how to manage this ubiquitous fern while new guidance (and science) is being developed.

Bracken (and its control) is not a straightforward subject, with varied stakeholders keen to find a workable solution to the feared rapid spread of the plant which has large underground rhizome systems which protects it from frost, fire and other disturbance. A bracken-dominated landscape impacts on farming practices, forestry, conservation and recreation and can harbour ticks which carry diseases affecting animal and human health.

Now, as the fronds appear and unfurl, it's time for land managers and farmers across the UK to plan their 2024 bracken management regime. To furnish them with the latest information and current options for control, we are hosting a virtual Q&A session on Tuesday 4 June, 1800-1830hrs which is free for all to attend. Watch Katrina Candy and Simon Thorp (Bracken Control Group) discuss the current state of play and explore options for this


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