Innovative methods are restoring native habitats

Frankie Woodgate and her heavy working horses Yser and Tobias returned to Hastings Country Park last week.

The traditional method of landscape management involves working horses pulling heavy rollers to ‘bruise’ the bracken. Bruising bracken with horse drawn rollers is an effective, low impact method of reducing the vigour and growth of bracken in hard-to-reach areas and avoids the use of chemicals.

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Frankie with on of the horses ‘bruising’ the bracken in the country park.

Lead councillor for the environment, Colin Fitzgerald said, “Last year, Hastings Country Park won an innovations award for establishing a free roaming conservation grazing project, and using heavy horses to reduce the bracken is just another way of managing threatened habitats on public land, which successfully combines biodiversity and wildlife management with public enjoyment and getting closer to nature, especially for residents from disadvantaged communities in the town.”

By reducing the amount of bracken in Hastings Country Park nature reserve Hastings Borough Council is restoring native coastal grassland habitats.

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