Summer Update From Thirlmere

Things have been busy at Thirlmere this Summer as a variety of works have been going on as part of the PAWS restoration.


Earlier this year as part of ongoing management, the Rhododendron present in some areas of the valley was once again cut back and the stumps were treated using Eco Plugs to prevent regrowth which means no chemicals are being released into the soil or groundwater.

Rhododendron is an Invasive non-native species and thus a major threat to the woodland. Once established, Rhodedenron aggressively excludes other plants and quickly takes over and is very hard to completely eliminate, so when looking to restore ancient woodland, control is critical.

There isn’t a huge amount around the whole valley, but in a few key places it needs controlling or it will spread rapidly. These areas have been managed previously so this will be the second intervention and, hopefully, they will only need it once more before the Rhododendron is fully removed.

cut and piled up Rhododendron

deer leap

Deer Management-

In May this year, Bryce turned the attention of the project towards managing deer without restricting public access. Working with the deer stalker to assess the threat of deer for the whole valley, the need to review the fencing and access was highlighted.

Existing areas of fencing had evidence of deer having got inside, so working with Catchment Designs, deer leaps were installed to allow deer to exit the fenced areas in a one-way system if they happen to get in.

Other deer management issues were related to human visitors leaving gates open, so installing improved access with sprung, self-closing gates will help prevent accidental gate opening.

These measures alongside stalking, fencing and tubes all form part of the ongoing management of deer in the valley. Both trees and deer will continue to be monitored as the restoration work continues, but this represents a significant step forward for the project.

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