Harvested heather shoots as a resource for heathland restoration

  • Published source details Pywell R.F., Webb N.R. & Putwain P.D. (1996) Harvested heather shoots as a resource for heathland restoration. Biological Conservation, 75, 247-254.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Spread clippings

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Spread clippings

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1989–1991 in one abandoned mineral quarry and one abandoned farmland site in Dorset, UK (2) found that spreading clippings from intact heathlands increased the density of heather Calluna vulgaris and Erica spp. seedlings, but did not increase the density of other heathland species. After two years, there were more heather seedlings in plots where clippings were spread (38–224 seedlings/m2) than in plots where no clippings were spread (0–2 seedlings/m2). The density of other heathland species (Ulex minor, Molinia caerulea, and Agrostis curtisii) did not differ significantly between plots were clippings were spread (31 seedlings/m2) and plots where no clippings were spread (1 seedling/m2). In 1990 at the quarry site nine 30 m2 plots were rotovated and clippings spread on the soil surface, while four plots were left unrotovated and no clippings were spread. At the abandoned farmland site in 1990 three 500 m2 plots were rotovated and clippings spread, while three plots were left unrotovated and no clippings spread. In 1991 the density of plants was recorded in twenty 0.3 m2 quadrats/plot at the quarry site and in seven 0.25 m2 quadrats/plot in the farmland site.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

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