The Ulster Farmers’ Union recently hosted a bracken control and controlled heather burning information evening in the Downshire Hotel, Hilltown.
A healthy turnout of forty local farmers welcomed speakers from CAFRE and the NI Fire and Rescue Service.
CAFRE provided an overview of the work they are currently doing to assess the most effective measures to eradicate bracken. It is anticipated that CAFRE’s work, over the next four years will help to assist farmers to identify the most cost effective option for their particular farm.
The NI Fire and Rescue Service also provided an overview of the awareness programme they are currently running to help farmers with controlled burning.
Controlled burning is an important management technique on upland farms and the Fire Service are keen to work with farmers and landowners to help reduce the risk of wildfires which are costly to deal with and can have a considerable impact on the local environment.
Where farmers are considering controlled burns, the Fire Service would encourage farmers to get in contact with the local district fire station to make them aware that it is happening.
The Fire Service are also willing to provide advice on best practise when controlled burning and may also be looking for training opportunities on local farmland.