Scrub management

Over the past years more and more of our precious grassland on Ham Lands has been taken over by scrub and fast-growing non-native trees. This is having a negative impact on flowering plants and animals, as well as closing off access to some beautiful areas for the local community. Many paths have become overgrown or very muddy.

Friends of Ham Lands have been working very closely with Richmond’s Ecology Officer and local experts to identify the best method of managing the habitats and improving access.

During the spring work have been undertaking to improve the conservation value of Ham Lands South by removing areas of bramble and tall scrub that have gradually invaded the rarer open habitats over the course of many years.

The work, being undertaken by experienced conservation contractors, will selectively reduce the amount of scrub in the areas that will bring the most benefit to the site and its key plants and wildlife, particularly focusing on where it can be restored to meadow. The Friends of Ham Lands and local people with knowledge of important locations for birds, invertebrates and plants have been involved to make sure these areas are not affected or are improved, and the work will be continually monitored and adapted by ecologists.

 The main species affected are those that have grown to dominate areas or are not native to the UK including bramble, elder, elm, hawthorn, ash, sycamore and holm oak. Logs will be left for stag beetle loggeries and habitat piles, brash and branches will be chipped and removed from site. Any paint markings seen are not permanent.

If you have any queries or suggestions, please contact the Council’s Ecology Officer on 020 8891 1411 or via, or speak to the team on-site.

For updates on work carried out by the Council, TCV and our Butterfly Group please see the link to News Letters - Thank you.