Old docks in parkland / limestone-brash
Where: Stanton Park, Wiltshire
When: December 17th – 21st 2002
Status: Countryside stewardship / Community Forest Project
Area: 5.66 hectares (14 acres)
Detail: Demonstration Clearance / Swindon Borough Council.
established Docks in 14 acres of old parkland pastures (5.66
park was owned by Swindon Borough, and was part of a Community
Forest Project. It was managed under the Countryside Stewardship
Scheme, and had only been very lightly grazed by sheep.
Most of the grass was long.
local people remembered them ‘dominating the park’ for more
than ten years, and when our workforce arrived, the Docks
were fully matured and shedding seed in the wind. Some bigger
ones stood 5 ft. tall, and they were well rooted into the
limestone brash soil.
of Dock clearance at Stanton Park. Dec 2000.
Forest Park / old grasses / wildflowers / herbs / limestone
took four men and a boy, one long week to clear this 7 hectare
site, finishing on Christmas Eve. When we left, the outcome
was by no means certain. The land had been brown with large
infestations of mature dock, some of which stood five foot
tall. Removing those massive root clusters from the stony
ground often took our full strength, and we were both fearful
of the seed being scattered and of too many roots being
broken. While working, we were encouraged to find a white
grub enjoying destructive burrowing in some of the dock
roots. After the clearance, there was no ‘follow-up’, and
the rangers in charge were slow to clear the piles of brown
plants. In the spring, the land was very lightly grazed
by sheep, leaving plenty of long grasses (and cover). Normally,
most weed control measures require ‘follow-up treatment’,
especially after major clearances.
An inspection in 2002, found very few dock plants (less
than 10 observed) growing in the cleared area. A more recent
inspection (in summer 2004), found enough visible docks
to occupy two men with L-Ds for a day. Given the extent
of the original infestation, we should count this as a remarkable
success. Remember, there was consistently good crop cover.
Remember also, the little white grub which was forced to
concentrate on the reduced rations of re-growth and root-ends,
left by the clearance. (Length 1.5 cms. Who was he ?) Photos
of site before & after.
Cost: £1029. + Vat.
Cost: £200.+ Vat