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Bracken bashing boost for woodland flowers

Woodland flowers are being given a fresh chance to thrive at Horleyland Wood in Gatwick thanks to a group of power workers.

From Press releases - 9 July 2018 12:00 AM

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Ten volunteers from UK Power Networks office in Hazelwick Avenue, Crawley, spent Friday (July 6) in Radford Road removing bracken from the woodland floor with Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, part of Sussex Wildlife Trust. Bracken grows fast and smothers other native flowers and plants.

Ginette Leeder, who organised the challenge and works in the company’s asset management team, said: “We’re a local employer, we respect the environment and it’s good to look after these natural areas and give something back to our local community.”

Thomas Simpson, learning and engagement officer for Sussex Wildlife Trust, said: “The bracken dominates the woodland floor and blocks out light for wild flowers. It’s naturally occurring, but changes the soil chemistry, making it more acidic and perpetuating its own growth. It gets to the point where nothing else can grow.

“We remove bracken to let more light hit the woodland floor and germinate the seedbank of wild flowers in the soil. We still want to retain some bracken as it provides good cover for deer and is a natural part of the system, but we try to reduce it.”

UK Power Networks delivers electricity supplies in the South East, London and East of England and encourages all its employees to spend two days annually volunteering in their local community. The company has a partnership with the nine Wildlife Trusts across the areas it serves.