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CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Wednesday, 7th June 2017
The Holies (NT), Streatley ~ Bracken bashing and ragwort pulling

We had anticipated spending the day at Lough Down clearing scrub but a last minute change of plan meant we found ourselves bashing bracken on part of The Holies we had not previously visited.

Much of the bracken to be removed was only a few inches in height and could be controlled by striking to shatter the stem and leaving to die. Although this does not kill the plant it will be weakened and shattering the stem should further this process by causing a greater loss of sap than would be the case were it neatly cut.

By lunch much of the bracken had been dealt with so the 'lazy dogs' appeared and the afternoon was spent also pulling ragwort - 'lazy dogs' are tools used to uproot the ragwort.

The ragwort must be collected as it is potentially poisonous to livestock and horses, hence the black sacks.

As with other parts of the site, there was a profusion of wild flowers - such as this Common Spotted Orchid - as well as some butterflies.

Preparing to depart, the group gathers after spending a satisfying day in a beautiful setting.

Created: Monday, 19th June 2017
Photographs: Alan Stevens