Bracken was the cornerstone of the Commoners' farming system; it provided bedding material for wintering stock and, enriched with manure, it was spread on overwintering land to maintain fertility. It was cut strictly in winter only to avoid killing the plants. No longer harvested by Commoners, it spread into heather stands and is now cut in the summer to weaken it. Over 150 hectares of bracken are mown with rotary swipes, twice a year, creating a grassy heath habitat.

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