Fight the bracken! Saving Furness ancient monuments

Fight the bracken! Saving Furness ancient monuments

Birkrigg Stone Circle copyright Morecambe Bay Partnership

Volunteers are being asked to help fight vegetation on Birkrigg Common near Ulverston – a constant threat to the popular ancient stone circle and beauty-spot. Volunteer work parties led by Morecambe Bay Partnership will take place on the Common every month through to September. The first work party of the season will take place on Thursday 24th May from 9.30am.

Volunteers will help undertake targeted vegetation clearance, to reduce bracken growth at this important and much loved Furness site, so helping to increase the visibility of, and reduce the risk to, important archaeological remains. The work will also help to improve natural habitats, opening up grassland and encouraging grazing, allowing better feeding areas for birds and reducing further encroachment of bracken.

New and existing volunteers are invited to join the work party on Thursday 24th May – no previous experience is needed and all tools and safety equipment are provided. Volunteers just need to bring along their enthusiasm and a willingness to get stuck in! The works will involve cutting the bracken, to weaken the plant and restrict its growth over subsequent growing seasons.

In October 2017, three ancient archaeological sites on Birkrigg Common were removed from the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register produced by Historic England, thanks to the stirling efforts of local volunteers led by Morecambe Bay Partnership. Work is now required to ensure bracken growth is kept at bay, to ensure these precious monuments are preserved and protected for future generations.

The first work party will meet at the Malt Kiln, Bardsea for tea/coffee at 9.30am on Thursday 24th May. Supervised children aged 8 and over are welcome. Work will involve manual removal of vegetation with slashers/rakes and some lifting, so a degree of physical fitness is required. For more information visit www.morecambebay.org.uk/events.