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Land management work at Down Farm Park

  • Author: Clanfield Parish Council
  • Published: 9th August 2022
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Land management work at Down Farm Park

Over the next few months, residents will see some changes in the way in which Clanfield Parish Council’s land is managed at Down Farm Park, particularly with regard to the large, 8 acre field at the top of the Park and, also, in and around the nearby orchard.

The changes were agreed at the Council’s July meeting as a necessary means of controlling the spread of invasive and pernicious vegetation, particularly ragwort, dock and bramble, across the Park. The Council has a legal duty to control ragwort on its land.

A Parish Council spokesperson said:

“There was a ragwort problem on the top field for several years before it was transferred into the Council’s ownership and previous attempts to control the problem have not been successful. It was when the extent of ragwort rosette matting (next year’s plants) was realised that the Council decided that it had no alternative but to take these measures. It will be a little untidy for a while, but we hope that everyone will bear with us.

“The first step is to cut the field down to amenity grass length and the first cut has been done this week. We would like to have baled up the arisings and taken them off site but this is not possible in view of the ragwort content and, also, the fact that the fields are used for dog walking. Therefore, as an alternative, we will be cutting every month until the end of the year to mulch the arisings down before spraying the top field only next Spring. This will be a one-off exception to policy in view of the severity of the problem. We will be closing the field to public access for a short while when the spraying is done.”

Just under half of the top field was due to be sown as a wildflower meadow this Autumn but that work has now been deferred for another year until the Autumn of 2023. It is the Council’s intention that the top field will be managed as a meadow after the present problems have been resolved.

Clanfield Parish Council | Clanfield Online

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