Report R01

Problem: Ragwort in pasture
Where: Kent / Port Lympne
When: 26th June - July 12th 2001
Status: SSSI
Area: 48.58 hectares (120 acres)
Detail: South sloping, rough and uneven terrain. Deer pasture
Removed all potential flowering plants. 416 Man-hours

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This first visit to Port Lympne required the removal of large amounts of flowering Ragwort from 120 acres of south facing, steep grassland slopes. The clay soil was hard, the weather was hot, and the terrain rough. Gorse & Hawthorne grew on the site in clusters, and grass covered ant-hills were numerous. Spot use of citronella based Barrier H had been tried, and not liked.

Large numbers of deer grazed the land through most of summer & winter, although some limited control was being introduced. Two animal feeding shelters caused winter & summer concentration of hoof-marks in the turf.

The L-D workforce comprised 4 men from the L-D gang (lead by J.Trevelyan), and they stayed in an on-site caravan. Large (but unrecorded) numbers of plants due to flower were removed and burnt over a 2.5 week contract, which allowed coverage of the whole site. All plants due to seed in that year were removed. While working, it became clear that the numbers of seedling rosettes due to flower in the following year (2002), were going to be far higher. These fluctuating rates of annual infestation had often been observed by the owners, but there was little recorded detail on grazing & weather.

Suggestions to start removing the 2002 crop rosettes in the Autumn / Winter (2001) were put off. A local workforce was to continue the work during the summer of 2002.

( see J. Briscall report.)

Cost of workforce, tools supplied, travel = £3200+vat. (£26. per acre)

Conclusion: The work was needed and completed. It was commissioned by Mr Trevor King, on advice from James Briscall. Enquiries on progress to J.Briscall: Tel 01233 750181 or Mr King, Port Lympne Estates.