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The new work season has begun on Hardington Moor National Nature Reserve!

We  have just re-started our habitat management work at Hardington Moor NNR near West Coker in Somerset with three visits in the last fortnight, two with the EuCAN Somerset volunteers and one with our contractors to start our annual brushcutting contract to control the bramble and other scrub in the middle field. We were extremely lucky with the weather on all three occasions and managed to get a huge amount done for Natural England (NE) with our teams of enthusiastic volunteers and contractors.

We brushcut and raked off the rank grass on the bottom edge of the upper field – the aim being to reduce the vigour of the grasses and allow wildflowers to flourish. For this to happen, this area needs to be cut more often and/or grazed on and off through the year. Before and after  photos:

We also cleared three areas of blackthorn along the top edge of the field and burnt up the brash. This is part of a rotational cutting scheme which enables NE to produce a varied age structure in the scrub margin. One day the young regrowth might support Brown Hairstreak butterflies – who knows!

Here are some before and after photos – click on each photo to enlarge it