Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Braunton Burrows work will help wildlife thrive

PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 March 2017

Scrub clearance work being carried out on Braunton Burrows.

Scrub clearance work being carried out on Braunton Burrows.

Archant

It may appear drastic, but the heavy work that has taken place at Braunton Burrows will actually benefit the flora and fauna on the unique site

The work on the Burrows will make it easier for rare flowers to bloom.The work on the Burrows will make it easier for rare flowers to bloom.

The annual scrub clearing at Braunton Burrows may look severe but is actually necessary for wildlife to thrive.

That was the message from the caretakers of the UNESCO Biosphere reserve as a winter of work involving heavy machinery comes to an end.

There have been significant ground clearance works over the winter, removing undergrowth and roots to promote the growth of flowers found nowhere else in England, such as the dune gentian.

The scale and severity of the works on the world famous site prompted concerned comments on social media from people fearing it would damage the landscape.

Scrub clearance work being carried out on Braunton Burrows.Scrub clearance work being carried out on Braunton Burrows.

But Burrows education officer Rupert Hawley said: “All scrub clearance on the Burrows is discussed and carefully planned with Natural England.

“There are long term benefits for this unique environment and this spring and summer we look forward to seeing the extraordinary abundance and diversity of flowers for which the Burrows are famous.”

And Justin Gillett, Natural England’s conservation advisor added: “While it may appear like ‘unnecessary’ clearance of picturesque spots Burrows users are attached to, in the long run this newly opened up ground will thrive.

“Scrub left to grow unchecked would soon result in the Burrows being overgrown with brambles and Sea Buckthorn making it impenetrable for users who enjoy strolling through its open spaces.”

Clearance work is carried out by the Christie Estate under an HLS (Higher Stewardship Agreement) with Natural England, which prepares an annual scrub management plan which identifies areas that need to be cleared and piled, ready for burning the next season.

The public also raised concerns about the impact of the clearance work on local wildlife. To this Justin said: “While it is likely this process does have some impact, in terms of dislodging habitats and wildlife, it is important to view this in terms of the greater good. The bigger picture involves a battle to stem the spread of scrub which will have a longer term impact on species and habitats.”

As part of this season’s work, international charity Plantlife has funded work in Zone 1 to create suitable habitat for the rare dune gentian. Andy Byfield, who is overseeing the project for Plantlife, said: “Just as you would weed the garden to ensure a treasured plant grows properly, this clearance work opens up the ground to allow the Dune Gentian to thrive.”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Grade II listed town centre street in line for a bit of TLC

Read more
Yesterday, 15:22

The annual May parade complete with drums and giants has made its way through Ilfracombe once again

Read more
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Famous North Devon village the latest location for new historical feature film

Read more
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fire fighters received reports of a house on fire with a man still inside - and two other men entering the property to rescue him.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Fire fighters called to Eaglescott crash after light aircraft ploughs into a field, hitting trees and a hedge

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

The Landmark will be for community use initially and the cafe reopen, while ‘strong shows’ are promised for the Queen’s in Barnstaple

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Saunton to feature in new film starring Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey actors

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

North Devon Council is holding a series of public meetings before a trial scheme for three-weekly bin collections.

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

Children at South Molton United Church of England Primary School are settling into the town’s school for the future

Read more
Friday, April 28, 2017

The RNLI is urging people to take heed of its safety advice when visiting North Devon beaches this bank holiday weekend.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications