UK best practice guidance on bracken has been updated:

Nature Scot - Bracken control by Horse and rolling
Roderick Low

With the herbicide Asulox no longer available to treat bracken, there was a need to update best practice guidance on bracken management, which was previously heavily weighted towards chemical treatment.

Asulox was a selective herbicide, previously used for aerial spraying and ground-based treatment of bracken. The registration allowing Asulox to be used across the EU was withdrawn in 2012, due to concerns that the active ingredients were an endocrine disruptor, risking animal and human health.

The UK nature conservation bodies, (Natural England, NatureScot, DAERA Northern Ireland, Natural Resources Wales) and the UK national historic advisory bodies, (Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, Communities Northern Ireland and Cadw) commissioned revised guidance on bracken management, which has now been published on the NatureScot website

This preliminary guidance promotes best practice in bracken management across the UK and will be updated as further information emerges. It contains information on the range of different manual and mechanised treatment methods available with associated example case study information.

Bracken is our most widespread large fern species, covering large areas of Scotland’s moors and uplands. A remarkably successful fern species, bracken has become a problem plant in some parts of Scotland since it stopped being harvested widely.

A Bracken Management Plan template has also been included, to help land managers plan and monitor bracken treatment over a five year period.

Image Credit - Nature Scot