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by Sandy Gerrard
From 1st January 2013 it became illegal to possess, store or use Asulam products. So what? How will this affect our heritage? Asulam is the main weapon used to control bracken. This is important because bracken rhizomes destroy archaeology and the plant itself smothers and conceals many incredibly important archaeological sites of all periods.
The Bracken Control Group set up and co-ordinated by The Heather Trust are working very hard with partners to get Emergency Authorisation to use Asulam in 2013. If unsuccessful the large-scale control of bracken on archaeological sites will cease and inevitably important deposits and remains will be damaged at the same time as our heritage disappears under a thick blanket of bracken plants.
Some people may welcome this development and see the inevitable “return to nature” as a good thing, especially as another obnoxious chemical will have been removed from the environment. The issues involved are complicated and if you would like to find out more please have a look at the Bracken Control Website before making up your mind.
I have seen for myself the impact that bracken rhizomes have on archaeology and how many times has your enjoyment of a site been spoilt by the presence of bracken?