Horsepower helps beat the bracken in Gower

  • Traditional horsepower is being employed by Swansea Council this summer to reach areas of bracken in Gower that modern vehicles are unable to get to.

    Griffin the horse will be replacing tractors and motorised machinery and will be helping to control the acres of bracken that are preventing other species growing.

    By dragging a roller behind him Griffin will flatten everything in his path — causing damage to the bracken by bruising it, but not cutting it off.

    After a several years of this treatment experts say the plants will be exhausted and will reduce its spread, allowing other plants to colonise.

    Sean Hathaway, from Swansea Council said: “Bracken has become a major problem on Gower commons and heathland.

    “We’ve identified specific sites that cannot be reached by vehicles or machinery so we’ve gone back to basics and employed Griffin to take on the challenge.”

    The four sites identified where bracken is a problem are Mumbles Hill, Bishops Wood, and Pwlldu and Port Eynon dunes.

    Griffin is owned by Richard Cook from Herefordshire. He said: “It’s quite a unique service and there are only a few in the UK who offer it. Griffin enjoys the work even though it can be hard at times.”

    John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment in Swansea Council added: “The use of a horse on Gower is appropriate and also a very traditional method of controlling problems such as bracken.

    “In Pwlldu we have a local nature reserve so it’s great that we are able to carry out this work and keep the area as natural as possible.”

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