Swaling or gorse management

Another unplanned set of images when I came across the scene looking for some “nice” pictures.  Actually to see a section of the moor ablaze is not that unusual if you live in the area.

Swaling takes place on Dartmoor during the winter period (& up until the end of March) to ensure minimum disruption to nesting birds and other wild life.

In this instance the burn was going out of the planned area and so beaters were used to put out the fire where it was not required.  Areas are burnt in rotation to remove the gorse (strictly Common Gorse – Ulex europaeus) to allow grass and heather to regrow so that livestock can feed.

This shows the after effects of recent swaling at Hey Tor (one of the best known tors on Dartmoor).  While it looks a little scarred for now in a couple of months time the area will be looking much greener again.