The next Parish Council Meeting at 7:15 pm on 8 January 2018 following the Planning and General Purposes Committee

Work on Wellow Common – more information

In response to recent concerns raised by local residents, the following information is key to understanding the approach taken by the Parish Council in the management of Wellow Common.

Wellow Common is part of the New Forest National Park and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Parish Council’s Management Plan (2010-2019) is focused on conserving the lowland heathland environment and is approved by Natural England. Work is carried out in accordance with Natural England guidelines.

An annual grant is currently received from the Rural Payments Agency allowing the Parish Council to carry out the work.

As you may recall from the 2017 Annual Report we continue to implement the 10-year Management Plan to maintain the Common.

This year’s winter programme has recently started and involves further gorse and rhododendron clearance with some thinning of silver birches in copse areas.

To maintain and conserve the rare lowland heathland environment it is necessary to restrict the spread of gorse, non-indigenous species and trees.

In the past, gorse would have been cut and used by Commoners, but this no longer happens, so cutting and burning is now the adopted practice.

There has never been any cutting of heather under the Management Plan.

Intense recreational use is the main factor affecting heather growth on Wellow Common.

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