Aerial bracken control will continue to take place in 2012 despite the introduction of additional constraints.
A new system for approving aerial spraying will be in place for the 2012 season and it provides for a 5-year permit on each landholding. Although this is a simpler and much improved system it is, as yet, untested. The regulations require final parliamentary approval before they can come into force and may not be operational until June. This raises concerns over how quickly applications can be processed so close to the start of the bracken control season.
The message to landowners and land managers is to act now. It is essential that they contact their aerial spraying companies immediately. If the aerial spraying companies do not receive orders from landowners, they will not be able to stay in business and they will not be available to provide this most effective control technique. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to control bracken on the large scale that is required to stem the tide of bracken expansion.
Information about the new permit system can be found on the Bracken Control website and full details of the new arrangements will be published on the website as soon as they are in force.
- The Bracken Control Group was established in 2011 to act as a focus for all bracken issues.
- The group aims to embrace all parts of the bracken control industry and provide a single point of contact for information about the impact of the ban of Asulam and other bracken control issues.
- The group will be spearheading the application process for emergency authorisations to allow for the continued availability of Asulam so that existing aerial spraying programmes can continue and new ones start.