New Forest Invasive Non-Native Plants
What is it about?
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be working with landowners to reduce the damage caused to the natural heritage of the New Forest by invasive non-native species.
Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and American skunk cabbage will be targeted, with control measures implemented along Lymington River and its tributaries, Cadnam River and Avon Water where bankside non-natives are a serious and expanding issue.
The project will:
- Reduce the distribution and abundance of key invasive non-native species at 40 locations
- Eradicate or substantially reduce invasive non-native species at all 10 sample sites by 2020
- Deliver two training courses per year, which will increase the skills of land managers to identify and control the spread of invasive non-native species
- Provide a minimum of 600 volunteer man days.
Volunteering and training
Volunteers will be asked to undertake Himalayan balsam pulling during the summer months under the supervision of project staff. The training events will be held to increase awareness about the problems caused by invasive non-native plants, to help people recognise them and to provide guidance on methods of control. Practical work parties will also be an opportunity to raise awareness and help people identify invasive non-native plants.
It will deliver large scale, practical, on the ground management work, improved data recording and collection, and crucially extensive volunteer and community involvement. On-site training regarding the aims and objectives of the project and the recognition and techniques of eradication will also be undertaken with volunteers on site.
Visit the training and volunteering pages for information on specific roles within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.
The landowners of the stretches of riverbank habitat will be encouraged to keep any new infestations under control once project officers have demonstrated that the eradication of these species is both achievable and desirable.
Catherine Chatters – New Forest Non-Native Plants Officer, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Tel: 023 8042 4205 or mobile: 07770 923315