falklands habitat

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Restoration techniques include: natural revegetation, planting tillers, using small plants or using native seed.

Wildlife benefits are maximised if you can roughly match the native species planted to those which would be found naturally in the area being restored and try to use seeds or plants from close-by.

Natural revegetation.

The Falklands’ native species are tough – they can survive and spread in harsh, dry and windy areas, but there are no native grazing mammals in the Falklands, and many of our native species cannot survive continual grazing by livestock (sheep, cattle, goats or reindeer).

Natural revegetation with native plants sometimes occurs following fires and where areas are fenced to prevent or carefully control grazing by livestock.

Planting out tillers (offshoots of the parent plant with roots) is simple and can be fun – with helpers of all ages.

Many of our tussock grasses produce good tillers, including tussac, sword-grass and bluegrass.

Tillers can be pulled from the parent plant with small roots attached and planted straight out, or allowed to bulk up in a pot before planting. It’s best to plant tillers in the winter – when the ground is wet.

Think about trialing a small plot before undertaking a large planting effort.

  • Leaflet – Tussac Grass Planting and Management Download
  • Leaflet-Advice-for-planting-bluegrass-and-other-species-from-tillers Download

Other restoration trials have used small plug-plants.

Some native plants can be grown easily from seed, and trials at Cape Dolphin Farm have used tussac plug-plants to reinvigorate an eroded coast.

Other species, including boxwood, fachine and Falkland lavender can be grown from cuttings.

Until now these species have only been used in small native plant areas but they could be used to create mini forests of boxwood or fachine glades.

Many of our native species grow slowly so patience is key.

  • Leaflet-Growing-Native-Boxwood Download

Recent trials showed that a range of native plants could be grown easily from seed. Top performers were Fuegain couch grass, bluegrass and tussac.

When grown on eroding ground all of these species required a small amount of manure; do not add too much as this will favour non-native species which quickly overgrow our native plants. Seeds can be gathered from the wild or grown: Cape Dolphin Native Seed Hub has been set up to produce seeds for restoration on that farm.

  • Habitat restoration using native seed Download
  • Seed collection in the Falklands Download
  • Seed Collection Times Download
  • Habitats Restoration Field Trial Statistical Report Download
  • Article – Sheep Poop and Native Seeds for Habitat Restoration Download
  • Growing tussac grass from seed Download

Be Inspired
Read more about a tussac planting project on Beaver Island, here, or watch the below video from Falklands’ horticulturist Jeremy Poncet on how to grow native boxwood from cuttings.

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