13 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Howth

  1. Panty Christ

    Expect Dublin Hills to be ablaze over weekend as temperatures soar to 14 celcius

    1. Kieran NYC

      I’d imagine it’s done by the same segment of people who poison eagles or think pine martens are birds.

    2. Grouse

      It’s done to keep the land grazable. Grass will be overtaken by heather, which will be overtaken by gorse and then eventually small trees will grow amongst the gorse. The trees will eventually overshadow everything and change the whole ecosystem beneath them, shading out gorse and heather and allowing a forest floor to stabilise. This is how a natural process of reforestation would occur after a period of fire or overgrazing. By burning the gorse each year or so, it is kept at the level of heather and grass, which sheep can feed on.

      While I don’t agree with burning the gorse, it’s got a lot more of a point to it than, e.g, poisoning eagles. If you don’t get rid of it somehow it will overtake the grazable land. Eliminating it by hand is ridiculously labour intensive. The trick is to realise that you don’t actually want to keep the land grazable. You stop using the land to raise a few hundred sheep and instead allow it to return to forest. You come to whatever arrangement is necessary with the farmers and golf course owners to allow this to happen. Simply saying “don’t burn the gorse!” doesn’t really get at the root of the two opposing desired outcomes.

        1. Grouse

          I never heard of anyone spraying it on grazing land. Always assumed there was some kind of risk to animals doing so.

          1. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            My family did. Cows won’t eat it unless they are starving and if in doubt, keep them off for a few days. Esp if they are preggo, just to be safe.


          2. Grouse

            Someone told me you could kill ivy by injecting a particular chemical into the root. It sounded nice and clean. I’ve forgotten what, though, so this comment has no point.

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Same with gorse and petrol! Bit of a nuclear option but hey

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