Invasive plant species are now one of the biggest threats to habitats and biodiversity across the world. (DEFRA)
Plant Positive is a partnership combining Newport Rivers, the Environment Agency, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, The National Trust, RSPB and other Island organisations has been created to target species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and creeping water primrose that are spreading along the Island’s watercourses. These displace a more natural flora leaving behind habitats and wildlife that are significantly poorer as a result.
Control will be focussed on two main river catchments, the Medina and the Eastern Yar where Himalayan balsam, Japanese Knotweed, Creeping Water Primrose and Parrots Feather will be the targets for control. A watching brief will be kept on New Zealand Pigmyweed and Giant Hogweed.
Himalayan balsam has infested the banks of the Eastern Yar, Wroxall Stream and Scotchells Brook. There is also small patches on the Medina River and Merstone Stream at Blackwater. Volunteers participate in an annual campaign to hand pull the plant from these areas.
Japanese Knotweed is rampant across the Isle of Wight, and from a water-course perspective causes us concerns on Wroxall Stream, Lukely Brook and the Medina River.
Creeping Water Primrose is a problem in some West Wight ponds where we have been treating it.
Parrot’s Feather is prevalent in many ponds and also water courses on the Sandown Levels.
New Zealand Pigmyweed (also known as Australian Swamp-stonecrop) is an issue on the Sandown Levels.
Giant Hogweed is rarely found on the Isle of Wight. It’s highly toxic and contact with any part of the plant can cause serious and recurring blistering of the skin. Do not touch the plant.
A full list of non-native invasive plants in the UK can be found online at the Non-Native Species website.
What can you do to help?
You can Be Plant Wise and you can become a volunteer for our Himalayan Balsam control campaign.
This project is co-ordinated by Natural Enterprise. For more details please call 01983 296244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org