Bracken is one of the world’s most successful plants, and also one of the oldest, with fossil records of at least 55 million years old. In England bracken stands can be a distinctive and attractive feature in the landscape, particularly in the autumn when the fronds turn brown. It is a natural component of many habitats and supports a number of scarce and declining animal species. It appears to have become more widespread in recent years and this may be regarded as a threat to wildlife habitats, agricultural production and sites of archaeological interest. Therefore, bracken is frequently viewed as a problem that needs to be managed. This note provides a brief description of bracken, its biology, legislation, problems and issues.
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