Upcoming Work

Monday 3rd November 2014

Least Adders Tongue FernLeast Adders Tongue Fern

Our ranger team will be working on a number of the off-islands, as well as on St Mary's, over the winter months, carrying out habitat maintenance work and footpath clearance. If you see them out and about why not say hello, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

This winter the team will be making the most of the quieter months by carrying out a great deal of habitat maintenance work. Clearing invasive species is an important part of the work that we do, controlling the pittisporum, gorse, and bracken growth around areas of important coastal heathland.

Ideally, somewhere such as the Isles of Scilly, there should be 10% cover of species such as these across the islands, and so by ensuring that we maintain this level we can allow native wild flower species to flourish, as well as keeping habitat that is important for both insects and birds.

A large part of this work involves using cattle and ponies to graze areas of land that have been cut, this is known as conservation grazing. The animals graze the lower lying vegetation, and trample down remaining bracken which helps slow and prevent its growth. As the flora begins to grow again, grass and wild flowers are in a better position to grow without being over-shadowed by the invasive species.

The image shown here is of the least adders tongue fern, which is one of the rarest fern species in the UK, found only on the low lying grassy areas of Wingletang, St Agnes. It is at serious risk of being outcompeted by the fast growing gorse and bramble that can also be found here. All the more reason for our ranger team to keep up the good work!


Tagged with: Volunteering