31. Aug, 2015

Strimming the SSSI

What an amazing job Mervyn, Andy and Alasdair did on the SSSI site today. We are working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to protect and promote the growth of the Greater Yellow Rattle (GYR). Most of you will remember that East Haven is the only known place in Scotland where the GRY grows naturally in the wild. We have seen a decline in plant numbers over recent years and the reasons for that are both numerous and complex. However, in years gone by, the grasses were burned regularly which helped to clear the area of invasive species and protect the indigenous plant population. As you might suspect, grass burning is no longer considered an acceptable method of managing the SSSI. Last year, SNH asked if residents would undertake a couple of special cuts to the grasses as an alternative to burning. A review by SNH in 2015 found that there were new plants in the areas of special cuts and encouraging growth of indigenous plants along the track. As a result, they asked if we would consider cutting a massive 5m wide stretch along the length of the SSSI. The idea behind it is that cutting helps to remove some of the build-up of grasses and vegetation ‘litter’ from this and previous years allowing more light to the soil, giving the GYR a chance to germinate, grow, and hopefully spread. As we don't yet have the special equipment required it was a huge undertaking for the guys with their strimmers. However, they started early this morning and managed to cut the entire length suggested by SNH. Great acheivement by all involved!