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Thrill of the Hill – Don’t Go Bracken My Heart

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THRILL OF THE HILL | An invasive species and a cause for concern among farmers and policymakers, bracken is a hot topic in the farmed upland environment. While the species has some habitat value and its presence can be indicative of land suitable for woodland regeneration, the plant can quickly spread, taking over areas of upland grass pasture and heather, cutting the area of land that can be utilised for farming. In this episode, Simon Thorp, coordinator for the Bracken Control Group shares his opinion on Scottish Government’s recent decision on the use of Asulam, as well as discussing what he thinks the impact of a total ban will be and the alternatives to chemical control of bracken.

The Scottish Government notes that the Health and Safety Executive advice to all four nations of the UK was not to authorise the emergency use of Asulox because of the risk it poses human, animal and environmental health. Independent advice from the SG Chief Scientific Adviser for Environment and Rural Affairs, and the Expert Committee on Pesticides supported this conclusion, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland consented to the HSE recommendation. The Scottish Government is committed to science based decision making, and have followed the same, well established and evidence based process we always follow for the authorisation of pesticides. The following link contains the Scottish Government Press Release on the decision, a Q&A document, an evidence review of the implications of not controlling bracken with asulam in Scotland commissioned by the SG, the advice from the SG CSA ENRA and from the ECP, and the HSE letter sent to the applicant outlining the reasons for refusal of the application: Use of Asulox for bracken control in Scotland in 2023 | SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture)

Hosted by Alexander Pirie, Edited by Malcolm MacDonald, Produced by Beth Errington, Executive Producer Kerry Hammond, in association with The Scottish Government.

Related Materials

Use of Asulox for bracken control in Scotland in 2023 | SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture)

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