After a decade in the planning, the £250 million development of the latest Centre Parcs holiday village - Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire, has rid itself of a significant stumbling block before it officially opens to the public next year, thanks to a team of five franchisees from Complete Weed Control.
Large open tracks of the undulating forest landscape were beset by bracken, giving it an unappealing monoculture and smothering other plant life.
Centre Parcs urgently sought a means of ridding the otherwise delightful site of this dominant plant, which can also be a menace to wildlife.
Complete Weed Control, The UK's largest weed control contractor, which had successfully performed moss and algae clearance from chalet roofs along with total weed control applications at other Centre Parcs forest locations, was called in to give a specialist assessment of the problem and come up with a suitable solution.
"We were stunned by the extent of the bracken problem at the Woburn Forest site," said Alan Abel from Complete Weed Control (South Wales). "It was a very challenging task."
After a full site survey, application of Asulox - an herbicide long used as a means controlling bracken infestation was recommended.
In August and September 2012 bracken on seven hectares of the site was successfully treated at a rate of 11 litres per hectare.
The problem for more extensive control on the site was the then impending withdrawal of the product.
This summer however, the Chemicals Regulations Directorate, part of the HSE which governs and advises on the safe use of chemicals in the environment, permitted an extension of Asulox usage until September 18th 2013.
Complete Weed Control then formed a 'task force' to tackle the remaining large-scale bracken issue at the new Centre Parcs village which is due to open in summer 2014.
Personnel from its Home Counties, Midlands, South East London, Central Wales and South Wales franchises gathered at the site in early August under a collective Complete Weed Control banner to spray the remaining 32 hectares using a variety of hand-held equipment, an 8-wheel Argocat ATV, and a 4-WD vehicle fitted with long hoses and Hypro XT nozzles for target spraying.
Spraying of the whole area was successfully completed within a week and the first visitors to Centre Parcs' fifth holiday site in the UK next summer will not have their surroundings dominated by bracken.
For more information, please contact Complete Weed Control's National office on 01325 324 277.