Naturally occurring reed beds in inter-tidal areas used to be commercially harvested for thatching and basket-making. They are now only cut for nature conservation benefit, as imported reeds have captured the wider market. Management is most apparent when areas of reeds are cut to a pattern of sharp edges within the beds.
The extensive reed beds along the northern edge of the Firth of Tay near Perth used to be harvested for thatching. Their extent is most easily noted from aerial photographs.