Report R041 **

Problem: General Maintenance Docks, Spear & Creeping thistle
Where: Hill Top Farm, Spaunton, York
When: May / June / July 2004
Area: Various
Status: Organic
Detail: Follow-up on Moor field, Docks in Spring Wheat, Spear Thistles at High Cross. Continue control on pastures & Common Land. Creeping Thistle, Bracken, Spear thistle. (4 Local lads at work/ 2 weeks). Topping control on moorland pastures.

Action taken:. Creeping thistle chiselled in fields. Docks were removed from wheat crops (along with Spear thistle around the field boundaries).

Spear thistle in pasture was removed earlier in the year. There was plenty of ‘follow-up’ work on Creeping thistle on permanently grazed moorland-edge grasses. Where a topper could be used, it was, and experiments with a very close-to-the-ground setting (using a narrow machine & sharpened blades), were set in motion. Bracken was pulled by hand (from heather), and chiselled where possible.

Assessment: Support from E.N. certainly enabled more work on the Common (moorland). Our chisel hoe work on Creeping thistle in fields, is much less than it used to be (despite 2004 being the wettest summer for encouraging this weed).

Bracken control is the biggest worry, especially where it is creeping into heather.

Generally speaking , the main weeds in our fields are under fairly tight control.

Cost: £1600.