Holly Bush Renovation
The area is called Holly Bush. It is an open landscape that has been poorly managed. The grass was mown by the local farmer but the area is otherwise unused. The species composition of the grass had limited diversity and consisted predominantly of coarse species. It was proposed to fence Holly Bush and introduce conservation grazing using sheep to improve management and encourage a more diverse grassland sward.
Holly Bush has a small CWS off to the side, which is designated for its acid grassland composition. The CWS was fenced separately from Holly Bush but with a small gate between the two which will enabled controlled grazing of the CWS, sheep can be excluded to stop overgrazing. The GST have helped to manage coarse vegetation on the CWS and have drastically reduced this issue. It is our hope that grazing will help to keep coarse vegetation under control. Allowing sheep to graze between the two areas should also encourage the transfer of seed.
Access to the site was limited to a poorly managed bridleway, which needed improvement.
The overall plan was to improve management of the open space, provide robust access to the site and allow stock management. The impact will improve the area of Acid Grassland (CWS). The PC hope to derive a small income from this to fund continued management of the area. Changes in the footpath proposed will also bring a track back in use that has been ignored.
The proposed fencing limits human access to the field but improve the quality of the perimeter of the site for walking. It will also bring into play the improved GST footpaths. It is hoped that we can introduce boards for walkers explaining the walk, the CWS and give them guidance on the importance of the GST Ridge.
We now have a space that is being managed and access improved. With regular access by walker, pony trekkers and overall improved the management of the land.
Benefits to people
The works have helped improve access and limit damage done in the area of Special Scientific Interest
Benefits to heritage & landscape
The land is now being managed and has improved.
The area is in better condition and is better connected with improved accessibility.
Challenges & Lessons learnt
A challenge was getting access to the site and dealing with local farmers to get materials to site.
If we did this project again we would aim to understand the construction process a little better.