Horsepower will help bring bracken under control

Horses on Chailey CommonHORSEPOWER will be called upon to bring bracken under control and protect the historic heathland on Chailey Common Local Nature Reserve.

Horses from the Working Horse Trust in Eridge will be at Chailey Common for three days helping to pull rollers through the bracken in three areas.

Jo Heading, senior ranger at East Sussex County Council, said: “It is important that we control bracken growth on Chailey Common through our Higher Level Stewardship agreement with Natural England.

“The plant is very invasive and, if left to grow unchecked, can block footpaths, smother other heathland plants and destroy the habitats of the diverse insect and bird communities which are an integral part of the Local Nature Reserve.

“Bracken rolling will crush the stems of the plant and weaken its growth. Not only can the horses access areas which heavy machinery cannot, the process causes less damage to the ground than if we were to cut the bracken.”

Members of the public are able to watch the work but are asked to take care when walking on the common. Work will take place on Pound Common on Friday, August 29 2014, on Romany Ridge on Saturday, August 30 and Memorial Common on Sunday, August 31 2014.

During the work, the Trust will be camping in a large horse box and caravan on Pound Common and at the car park at Chailey Sports Ground. The horses will be contained within electric fencing on the common in the evenings and on rest breaks.