You could be excused for thinking this isn’t much of a POI (point of interest) but this is one of the more challenging areas that came with the land we bought and it needs to be (and will be) sorted/repaired! As already discussed we have the Sitka Spruce – all nicely brashed (the lower branches cut off) so you can walk through it and find your plot!
However, it’s not just Sitka we have to contend with. There’s the ‘indestructible’ bracken which has spread across Scotland for years as man has cleared woodland – neither cutting nor burning clears it – only chemicals kill it, but of course we don’t use chemicals for obvious reasons. We found the rather unusual solution by having Saddleback pigs!
There are also brambles and worse still the non-native Rhododendrons. They love our acid soil and thrive on the West coast of Scotland. Once planted in stately homes across the country everyone is now trying to get rid of them. Once again though, only chemicals kill them, so for years we have just cut them back and watched them sprout again in Spring, but they can be far more destructive – they can carry a disease that can transfer to other plants and trees (sudden oak death in America) but to larch trees in Scotland. If infected you have to fell and burn the whole wood. Regular cutting has left the Reserve disease free until last year when it was found on the very edge, on the steep embankment down to the A828 Oban road. That resulted in a Forestry Commission inspection and led to a £27,000 bill to remove it (as landowner we have to pay and you have to use ‘government approved contractors’ which in this country always doubles the price L )
So as it says on the sign, conservation is not just about just leaving things alone or you couldn’t walk through here for shoulder high bracken, brambles and rhododendron, all pretty useless for wildlife too so you wouldn’t see much of that either.