Thursday, 19 February 2015

Heather Re-Generation Project

To improve aesthetics around the course, whilst balancing between ecology and reducing maintenance costs, it has been a plan for some time to develop some areas that were identified for Heather establishment restoration. Another reason for attempting this project was the other most noticeable component of heathland areas, gorse, which is already well established at LPGC and spreading in areas already left unattended. The original plan started many years ago by allowing areas to grow wild and removing growth, effectively removing the possibility of nutrients from cuttings returning to the soil. As Heather doesn't colonise well in nutrient rich environments, this practice was followed for many years.

Heather Brashing (topped Heather) was purchased from Hankley Common Golf Club in Surrey. These Brashing contain seed heads which will hopefully regenerate naturally. This phase which is known as the pioneer phase can take 5-6 years, from seedling development and establishment until the plant has developed into a fully formed bush.

The areas identified were firstly stripped of turf exposing bare soil.

The areas were then dug over loosening the surface creating an almost perfect seed bed. 

The Brashing which contain millions of Heather seeds were then added covering the soil, which was then turned over again mixing the Brashing and soil together.

After the mixing the areas were flattened and compacted.

Unfortunately it is now a case of being patient and waiting to see signs of germination and the growth of healthy Heather plants. There is no guarantee that this will be successful, however without trying we will never know. 

Until further notice these areas will be compulsory GUR.

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