Hub Site Update – AFBI Hillsborough – March 2023

04 May 2023

March 2023 – Overview of progress to date

Remedial ground-work

The grassland site was in good condition ahead of taking management control. Grazing of the grassland continued until glyphosate was applied to the site and it was ploughed.

Fencing to protect planting where required

Fencing at the site is in good, livestock proof condition and there is a low deer, rabbit and hare pressure at the site. Electric fences may be deployed after planting to temporarily protect the new planting from any risk.

Standard autumn ground preparation

Autumn spraying and cultivation was not possible at the site due to NI specific directives. However, any docks, nettles or stubborn perennial weeds were spot treated during the autumn winter period. The site was sprayed for docks and clover

The site was monitored over winter and in February and March the following was reported:

  • We have sprayed the grass with glyphosate, where there was multispecies sward, we’ve sprayed with Glyphosate and Doxstar.
  • Spraying and cultivation took place in February with a goal of creating a stale seedbed.
  • The SRF plots were spayed only and not cultivated.
  • No increase in deer/vertebrate grazing was observed over winter.
  • Where the soil has been turned/disturbed crows are in increasing abundance.
  • The land area has remained stock-proof and secure from outside influence.
  • The Grasses demo plots initial location was identified as inappropriate due to soil depth. Grasses Demo plots area is to be moved to Far White Hill

Spring ground preparation

  • Phosphate and Potassium levels are good. pH needs adjusting, with a target of pH 6.5 – 7. This should take place before pre-planting cultivations.
  • A further glyphosate application should happen pre-planting if a spring weed flush is observed.

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