Wednesday, August 14 2013

Reclaim the land
It may be that the lack of visitor numbers in the sparsely populated Peak District contributes to the spread of bracken across the land
Sir, Bracken control is an expensive operation (letter, Aug 13). Higher visitor numbers in the New Forest may have justified its control — whether by rolling and cutting or use of a specific herbicide — to allow access and enable other plants to thrive. These high costs might not apply to the sparsely populated Peak District, where upland farmers traditionally controlled bracken as part of their farming practices through grazing and use for stock bedding. However, stock numbers on the hills, along with farm holdings, are declining and so bracken, a prehistoric native plant, is reclaiming the land. Rob Yorke Abergavenny, Monmouthshire