Recently we have successfully completed significant works associated with managing the African Boxthorn on the northern half of the site. These works included large scale mechanical mulching of the thousands of boxthorn plants.
This was followed up by the hand raking/clearing of mulched boxthorn debris from the paths at Arm End.
There remains some potential risk to walkers/dogs from the boxthorn debris and caution should be taken.
Should strong winds cast more debris back onto the paths it will not be a big job to keep these walkways cleared.
The next steps for ongoing management of boxthorn on the site include waiting until the mulched boxthorn dries out and until conditions are suitable and undertaking some controlled burning to remove the residue.
Although a large proportion of the boxthorn plants were treated with a basal herbicide spray directly after mulching, it was not possible to treat all plants. It is anticipated that there will be re-sprouting of the mulched boxthorn plants. This will be monitored and at such time that re-sprouting has attained approximately 30cm growth and is growing vigorously but not yet woody or thorny it will be sprayed with appropriate herbicide.
It is anticipated that this will be in Spring 2020. Controlled burning in Winter 2020 may significantly reduce the need for this if the fire to burn the mulch also kills the potential for the plants to re-sprout.
Once the re-sprouted soft new growth has been sprayed the boxthorn will die off rapidly, wilt and not constitute an ongoing nuisance.
This proposed works program has been deemed to be the most effective and efficient means of removing boxthorn from the site, whilst balancing excessive herbicide usage, damage to cultural heritage, public safety and feasibility.
The Boxthorn is very difficult to control and manage, however we are confident we can manage and significantly eliminate the boxthorn from the site. February 2020