In the North Screed field, the field where the re wetting has been most succesful so far, the rushes are now building up considerably.
As a result, we will need to start rush control this year.
A discussion with Natural England established the following (although with the proviso that rush control is very much on a per case basis):
1. The basic aim of rush control is to have variation and to avoid areas of rushes getting to 3 feet tall and being difficult to control
2. Control is as required, rather than by rote.
3. In August, top 50% of the area covered by rushes in strips.
4. In October, get a derogation to weed wipe 50% of the area topped in August.
5. Following year, apply same practice to the untopped 50%.
6. Ad infinitum.
7. Every 4 years, the whole area will have been weed wiped and we would have rushes between 1 and 4 years but no older.
I have asked Natural England to let us know if there is ever a rush control day on someone's farm. If anyone who reads this knows about one, please let us know (you can leave me a comment).
So, for now, we need to plan on topping half of the area of rushes at the west end of North Screed in August. Then weed wipe half of the topped area in October, when there is some re growth, but not so waxy as with old plants.