Grows around the purple heather…

Photo: Josh Hellon

We have been trialing new techniques to restore the heather at Cooper’s Hill to its former glory

The results are now in from five years of hard work developing a method to restore patches of damaged heathland at Cooper’s Hill, Bedfordshire.

Large areas of heather have been hit hard by ravenous heather beetles, and we had observed that the heather was not returning to these areas naturally. The main issue appeared to be that fast growing grasses quickly overgrow the heather that is attempting to grow back.

Our trials have shown that stripping back the turf in these areas gives the heather a head start and allows it to flourish. Based on this evidence we have been able to roll the method out on other parts of the site and share the information with other site managers.

Thanks to the hard work of Gwen Hitchcock, the reserve teams and volunteers, we have been able to get this work published so we can share these findings with other conservation workers. The article can be viewed online at Conservation Evidence