Commoners used heather for thatching, animal bedding and bases for hay stacks. Today, it is cut with a forage-harvester allowing collection of cuttings for seeding elsewhere. This introduces variety to the age and height within even-aged heather stands, encouraging more invertebrates. Small areas are 'scraped' with a mechanical excavator as part of an arrangement with Wakehurst Place to provide composting material. The resulting exposed soil provides ideal conditions for heathland restoration albeit on a very small scale.