Report R023 ***

Problem: Spear & Marsh thistle in rough ground sheep pastures
Where: Malham Tarn
When: July 2003
Status: SSSI
Area: 50 acres
Detail: 4 men 5 days. Camping on-site

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Problem: Spear thistle and Marsh thistle on 120 acres of permanent pasture. Instructions required Marsh thistles to be retained.

Density: Light in the middle of the field, and heaviest alongside walls, and in patches along Northern boundary (which was not noticed until the end of the last day).

Action taken: a workforce of 4 strip-walked the whole 120 acres, using marker canes. They selectively removed all Spear thistle. 14 hrs work. They camped near bye.

Cost: £500 (£4 per acre)

Assessment: A good example of RIP being the selective answer. The job was completed despite high winds. Unfortunately, there was little guidance on the profusion of Marsh thistle, because the warden was away. Preventative action was needed to stop more seed blowing in from plants just outside the field boundary. This was recommended & would have taken less than 1 man day.