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Moves to stop alien weed invasion

PUBLISHED: 17:46 30 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:17 03 July 2010

PEOPLE in Norfolk are being given the opportunity to help reverse the spread of invasive alien species in the county.

On Sunday the Norfolk Non-native Species Initiative will hold a county-wide day of action with a number of activities being held across the county to remove alien weeds.

PEOPLE in Norfolk are being given the opportunity to help reverse the spread of invasive alien species in the county.

On Sunday the Norfolk Non-native Species Initiative will hold a county-wide day of action with a number of activities being held across the county to remove alien weeds.

At Sheringham Park and Fritton Lakes Country Park groups of volunteers will be tackling infestations of a gardener's favourite - rhododendron. This plant originally came from Spain and can spread rapidly to dominate an area once it is established in the wild. Rhododendron also prevents the re-growth of native plants by releasing toxic chemicals into the soil.

Three other events will focus on removing Himalayan balsam, which grows vigorously in wet areas such as river banks.

Events to clear this invasive plant are being held at Hellesdon Meadow in Norwich, Upgate Common in Swannington, and at the RSPB's reserves at Strumpshaw and Rockland.

Mike Sutton-Croft, co-ordinator of the Norfolk Non-native Species Initiative, said: “While we have already managed to make a good deal of progress towards reducing and mitigating the impacts of invasive alien species in the county there is still a lot to do. “We need everyone in the county to play their part if we are going to really get on top of the problem. Going out and helping us remove these weeds is not the only way that you can help. Even simple steps, such as disposing of your garden and pond waste in a responsible manner, can make a big difference.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the day of action should visit www.norfolkbiodiversity.org/nonnativespecies.

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