Anyone driving over our Little Asby Common during the coming weeks may see some mechanical heather cutting near Sunbiggin Tarn.

Since the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, and with the introduction of the cattle on the common, the heather has been regenerating and is now a beautiful picture in August and September. It is desirable to have heather that is of various ages and that means that at some stage, some form of heather management is needed.

Jan Darrall, policy officer said,

“Whilst we  had not envisaged doing any heather management just yet, we were approached by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty who wish to source heather for the peatland restoration of Nine Standards Rigg.

“We have agreed to trial heather cutting on an area of 1.7ha near Sunbiggin and the work will be done before Christmas. The heather will be cut, collected and bagged up by the road and then flown over to Nine Standards where it will be laid on eroded areas as brash so the seeds fall out and grow. It will take about three days to do and should have minimum impact on users of the common.

"This is a great opportunity to trial some heather management and see what results we get.”

More information on Little Asby Common: Directions, history and archaeology