No plan to tackle Japanese Knotweed at beauty spot

By Richard Wright

Sunday, July 13, 2014

 

No plan to tackle Japanese Knotweed at beauty spot

The Isle of Wight Council has no plans to tackle Japanese knotweed at Monk’s Bay, Bonchurch.

THERE are no immediate plans by the Isle of Wight Council to kill a large amount of invasive Japanese knotweed at a beauty spot, which is home to a rare butterfly.

Following concerns at the proliferation of the deep-rooted weed, which can damage buildings and is difficult and expensive to kill, the authority said it was "monitoring" the knotweed at Monk’s Bay, Bonchurch.

The bay is home to the rare Glanville Fritillery butterfly.

Resident Gordon Payne raised the issue with his local councillor and MP Andrew Turner.

He photographed the large bank of the weed and contrasted that with an area of rich flora just 50 yards away.

"A wide range of plants means a wide range of insects, grubs, birds, rodents and other mammals, all the way up the food chain.

"The entire eco-system relies on this bio-diversity, including the unique Glanville Fritillary and the Adonis Blue butterflies that exist along this shore."

He said householders and landowners, including the Isle of Wight Council, should all play their part in helping to eradicate the weed from the Island.

IW Council parks, countryside and rights of way manager Matthew Chatfield said: "The land is owned and managed by the council for coastal defence purposes.

"The council makes the best use of its budgets by prioritising knotweed control work to those areas where it is causing, or likely to cause damage to nature reserves, buildings or other structures.

"In this instance we do not intend to take immediate action as the knotweed is not threatening the coastal defences.

"We are monitoring it and when it is necessary to take action, we shall do so."

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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