SOIL ASSOCIATION Scotland is inviting farmers to three free on-farm events designed to help them make a plan for tackling rushes over the year ahead.

Controlling rushes, in conjunction with livestock grazing and good soil management to encourage grass, can reduce the need to buy in feed, fertilisers and herbicides, stressed Five Agri consultant Ian Cairns, who will lead the roadshow meetings.

“The best way to manage rushes,” he said, “is to encourage the best soil conditions in favour of grass. If grass is strong and vigorous, rushes struggle to compete. For example, rushes can tolerate low soil fertility and high acidity but grass can’t. You need a neutral soil ph, good soil fertility and good drainage.

“These three half-day events look at the technical challenges posed by rushes and suggest solutions. We want farmers to see the different techniques and go away with an action plan for their farm.”

  • Tuesday March 5, Threepwood Farm, Galashiels – additional focus on wading birds;
  • Thursday March 7, Croick Estate, Ardgay – additional focus on deer management and fisheries;
  • Friday March 8, Fearann Eilean Iarmain, Skye – additional focus on AECS, corncrakes and waders.

All three events will look at how rushes grow in order to best tackle them, how to combine rush control with livestock grazing, how cutting can be more effective than herbicides and how retaining rush in certain places can benefit farm wildlife. Each roadshow event will run 10am-1pm, including lunch. They are free to farmers and land managers, but booking is required, online at or by contacting Jane Dingwall on 0131 666 2474 or