Crofter Training – Session 1

A very enjoyable and informative training session on ‘Grassland Weed Management and the Control of Common Rush’ was held on the 23rd of June.

This was open to all Keose and Glebe Crofters and Residents, and while not as many people as expected managed to attend, those that did found a lot to learn, discuss and think about, and which will be invaluable as we attempt to improve the quality of our soils, crofts and grazings.

Ian Cairns, (who also presented his findings on the land capability, habitat condition and land use of the estate/ grazings), was able to talk through the issues relating to the most common weeds that we come across here. These include rushes, buttercup, yellow flag, bracken, silverweed, nettles and more, and the session covered both how they take hold and established themselves, and manage to stick around. He also suggested strategies for how that they may be eradicated (or failing that) at least controlled. These strategies included changes to how and when we graze our land, what nutrients and chemical treatments are applied, and what benefits cutting, ploughing and drainage can bring. He also highlighted how attempts to ‘cure’ problems could actually make things worse if things are not kept on top of, and managed properly. This clearly has given us a lot to think about as we try and develop things here, and we also had a chance to discuss the wider challenges currently facing crofting in the village and island, and the challenges facing the commercial markets with which we interact (particularly in relation to sheep production). To that end, another two sessions with Ian have been arranged. Given the huge changes that may be coming our way, it is important that as many crofters as possible take the opportunity to attend.

Sheep, Brexit and planning for the future:

  • Sheep, markets and values;
  • Impact of Brexit on sheep industry
  • New ideas to make practical flock management simpler;
  • New ideas for improved profitability

Managing the common land at Keose Glebe:

  • Outline of habitats on the common grazings;
  • Current and future grazing systems and plans

    We are also hoping to look at funding schemes that the Grazings may be eligible for (such as the AECS Moorland Management Scheme) and how its requirements and benefits would fit with Keose Glebe and its plans.

The first of these sessions will hopefully take place on the evening of Friday the 25th of August, but will be confirmed in the next week or so.

Copies of the presentation slides from the 1st training day are still available, so please get in touch if you are interested.

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