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Island Roads team joins battle of balsam

Himalayan balsam.

Himalayan balsam.

Martin Neville

martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

@IwcpMartin

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 15:00

ISLAND Roads staff have joined efforts to rid the Island of an invasive alien plant species, in two environmentally sensitive areas.
For the past six years, experts from Island 2000 have been leading efforts to eradicate Himalayan balsam from the Eastern Yar and Wroxall stream, because it dominates native plants.
The alien plant disturbs the ecological balance and displaces native plants which anchor the riverbank. Flooding is one of the risks of Himalayan balsam invasion.
Seven Island Roads staff recently joined Island 2000, to remove the plants before they seed.
Carol Flux, Island 2000 Plant Positive programme manager, said: “The weather has provided perfect conditions for Himalayan balsam and it is seeding a month earlier than usual — so the extra help from Island Roads has been very welcome.
“Natural Enterprise’s team of volunteers has been working really hard, putting in 1,300-plus hours of pulling and scything since April, and the extra help from Island Roads has been fantastic.
“Himalayan balsam is literally a growing problem and we have been working to control it for six years.
“Pulling it up is the best tactic — we don’t like using herbicide sprays as it grows near watercourses.”

 


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