by Sandy Gerrard

It was reported earlier this year in the Heritage Journal that a ban on the use of asulam could have a serious impact on the control of destructive bracken on enormous numbers of archaeological sites. The Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) has recently announced that the application for an Emergency Authorisation has been approved.  This is good news and means that the chemical control of bracken will be possible in 2013.

The authorisation will allow restricted use of asulam (in Asulox) in the UK, during 2013, although the long-term aim is for asulam to be approved in the EU. However, additional data must be collected to support the application and it will not be until 2016, at the earliest, that approval may take place. In the meantime it should be emphasised that the Emergency Authorisation period is for a period of 120-days, from 20 May 2013. Full details of a press release issued by the Bracken Control Group can be found here.

This is an important issue for the management of upland archaeology in particular and a long term solution needs to be reached.

One of the lucky ones: Boscaswen Un stone circle, partly overwhelmed by bracken years ago but (now liberated thanks to painstaking clearance work by CASPN).

One of the lucky ones: Boscaswen Un stone circle years ago, mostly overwhelmed by bracken (now liberated thanks to painstaking clearance work by Cornwall Ancient Sites Protection Network).