• Mikael Trewick

Humberhead Levels (Thorne) Rhododendron Spraying July 2020

For the past couple of weeks, ELMsolutions have been on Natural Englands Humberhead Levels Lowland Raised Peatbog NNR spraying 34 Hectares of rhododendron regrowth.

This is part of the ongoing management of the site to increase the flora diversity within compartments where peat had been previously extracted. In this particular compartment, located to the southwest, It had been rotary mulched of its dense tree and rhododendron a number of years ago, forming mulch mats which support the regrowth of grasses, mosses and vascular moorland species (Such as heather). While protecting the peat from periods of heavy drought.

Rhododendron is a tough species that dominates over other native moorland flora and is difficult to eradicate entirely in one pass. Multiple spot spraying treatments using a specialised glyphosate and adjuvant mix by operators with a knapsack of regrowth in the years following mulching helps curb its veracity and improves the overall condition of the moor.

Applying Herbicide in this way offers minimal disturbance and this allows for a number of excellent wildlife sightings by the team. This year we had four sightings of Nightjars (Including a clutch of two eggs), numerous deer, a potential Marsh Harrier, and a curious fox. I also got particularly excited by what I think was Compact Bog Moss (Sphagnum compactum), a first for me...

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