How do I con­trol these rapidly spread­ing weeds?

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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

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