Ahh - aprobable victim of the 'chronomid' midge - a real biter! Fortunately
you do not have to wait until winter - they're normally gone by September!
So far as the actual practice of 'bracken stomping' is concerned, I wonder
whether they've tried the 'ecological approach'? Something within the
environment has obviously changed for the bracken to become dominant - probably
a change in grazing practices similar to that on the South Downs.
Pre WWII the Downs were grazed by sheep - they outnumbered the human population
of the U.K. As the sheep went for slaughter, they were replaced by rabbits -
until they in turn were wiped out by myxamatosis.
The result was that the open downland began to revert by succession back to the
woodland it had once been! In the early eighties, steps were taken by
Eastbourne Borough Council (I think) to redress the balance, and sheep were re-
introduced to test areas on Beachy Head. Sheep are able to graze not only on
grass but heathers, gorse, bracken etc. the result is the re-introduction
of 'Downland Turf' - and has also seen an increase in the rabbit population,
which cannot graze long grasses!
A possible solution for Dartmoor?? Now if only there were an ecological
solution for the Rhododendron bush....
Quoting Carol Primrose <[log in to unmask]>:
> I hope you post the results. I went looking for an iron-age fort a
> month ago with a friend and the bracken was 6 feet high. We couldn't see
> each other, never mind anything on the ground. A couple of days later, I got
> so badly bitten by midgies that I looked like a smallpox victim for a
> fortnight. I've decided that, at least on the West coast of Scotland,
> the middle of winter is the ideal time for fieldwork.
A Bad Days Diving Beats A Good Days Studying!
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