Suppressing Invasive Species

Over the past years, garden plants from other countries, are beginning to line our river banks and whilst they are ‘pretty’ that are preventing the indigenous plants from growing. One of the most noticeable is the tall stems, pink flowers of the Himalayan Balsam which now line many areas in the UK. They seed producing thousands of seeds which are then transported by the river downstream.

This monoculture leaves the river banks bare of undergrowth in winter and vulnerable to severe erosion.  Erosion can, not only cause flooding problems but has a detrimental effect on invertebrate and fish breeding.  

There are also plants such as Japanese Knotweed which layer themselves from the smallest of roots cuttings. These plants have to be reported to EA and are difficult to eradicate. PLEASE NOTE NONE OF THESE INVASIVE SPECIES SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THEIR LOCATION BUT DEALT WITH IN SITU.

These plants can be dealt with in various ways approved by the EA and SRT. Some simply, other by more drastic means. Methods include:

Pulling at appropriate times

Herbicide Spraying

 Covering with plastic

The group arranging for volunteers to pull Himalayan Balsam a number of times a year.

6 Volunteers from the group have been trained in spraying (usually a last resort)