Seaside Scrub Bash

On Saturday 14 January, Rangers Mike and Sarah with a few volunteers headed down to Porthcothan to clear some of the dense gorse. The area is important for corn buntings which are a nationally rare bird. They nest on open ground, quite often in farmers fields but also out on grassland near to fields, such as on the cliff top grassland at Porthcothan.

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On the slopes above Porthcothan beach the gorse has become dense shading out the maritime grassland. We need to ensure the gorse doesn’t spread up towards the fields as well as reduce the amount of gorse on the slopes, to bring back flower rich areas of maritime grassland to increase biodiversity.

If you’re in the area over the winter months, you may well see sheep grazing the cliff top to encourage a variety of grasses and flowering plants and to keep gorse and other scrubby plants at bay. The sheep are owned by a neighbouring farmer.

We had some new volunteers help us on the day, as well as some more regular faces. We gave them soup and rolls at lunchtime back at our bunkhouse (Beach Head) just down the road at Park Head as a small thank you for all their hard work.

The opening up of the gorse at Porthcothan will continue over the coming years and we should start to see a great variety of grasses and flowering plants coming through which will benefit many insects and birds.

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