How do I control these rapidly spreading weeds?
Norfolk reed is slowly taking over a lake I sh, reducing the amount of open water available. Do you have any tips for controlling it?
given favourable conditions, norfolk reed or phragmites can spread at a remarkable rate. Increasing water depth is often the only thing that can stop it in its tracks. I manage a small pond for duck flighting that contains a population of coarse fish and each year I have to cut the phragmites bed back with a scythe, as left alone it would fill the shallow pond.
Despite its irritating habit of encroaching on open water it is still vital habitat and I maintain it at a certain distance from the bank. It provides valuable cover for nesting waterfowl and provides a refuge for fish from avian predation, particularly cormorants. I know of some instances where spray has been used, but this is a high-risk option that should only be considered following consultation with your local environment Agency fishery officer. CDC
There are a number of possible explanations. First, is the hind captive or in some way a pet? There are a number of locations in Scotland where pet deer have deceived the unwary into believing they are something else. If that were a possibility it might be that your hind has been raised around sheep and sees them as one of her kind.
Are there other deer living in the area — the presence of a calf would suggest that there are. It may be that your hind, hefted to a small area, chooses to have her home range there, because she feels safe, has a good food supply and ready shelter and is adapted to living in a fairly sedentary manner.
While deer might not always be seen around domestic livestock, it is not true that they never associate with it. What deer don’t like is either to be sharing ground that is badly soiled, or to be in a position where the presence of livestock masks approaching danger, either by weight of numbers or by the smell it produces. IW
norfolk reed, or phragmites, will spread rapidly but does provide valuable cover for waterfowl