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RESEARCH > CASE STUDIES AND REPORTS > REPORT R029

Report R029 ***

Problem: Docks & Spear thistle in pasture. Also Docks & Spear thistle in fenceline & track, between two arable fields.
Where: ADAS High Mowthorpe
When: March 10/11/12/ 2004
Area: 40 acres
Status : Organic
Detail: 9 man-days removing old Docks & Spear thistles from pastures, and clear the dividing track between arable fields. Some minimal work along Stonefield fence-line

Action taken: A workforce of 3 removed many ancient dock clusters from the valley bottom (southern section). Some of this was particularly heavy work, because the docks were old and well rooted into glacial gravel. The work was varied by walking the pasture of the whole dale and removing Spear thistle rosettes. Follow-up dock clearing in the Northern area of the pasture (started in 2003), was also carried out. One half a day was devoted to the fenceline docks & Spear thistle, by a 2 man workforce.

Assessment: a visit to all areas of the site during an open-day, suggested that the work was well worth while. It is almost inevitable that plants are missed during a ‘clearance’ and so minimal ‘maintenance’ should always be a part of the understanding between the farmer & contractor.

Cost: £660 + Vat (incl. travel)

Follow-up: A further visit to Duggleby for work on Ragwort & Spear thistle (on the Country Stewardship bank-sides). One man worked for two days. Cost: £200 (includes travel)