Essex County Council celebrates success of invasive species removal work

Essex County Council is hailing a decade-long scheme to control invasive species on its waterways as a success.

The volunteer-initiated project to remove an infestation of floating pennywort from the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, a 14-mile length of canalised river running from Chelmsford to the sea, has succeeded in almost eradicating the species.

The council teamed up with local charity Chelmer Canal Trust in 2003 and helped raise around £80,000 from various bodies, including the Environment Agency, to pay for specialist teams and equipment to remove tonnes of the American species Hydrocotyle ranunculoides.

Landscape manager at the council Peter Spurrier said volunteers had been the backbone of the project. But when early removal methods failed and herbicides were banned, contracting specialists had proved the key.

"Our initial tearing and cutting methods generated small fragments that continued the spread," he said. "The grants helped fund a special boat for mechanical clearing, which made way for careful manual removal by volunteers."

Spurrier said volunteer teams were now controlling small recurrences and they hoped to eradicate the problem fully by targeting tributary streams along the canal. "This has been a great success. We can definitely be used as an example to other authorities that may have similar problems," he added.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

Sargent's Solutions: What is the difference between a head gardener and gardens manager? Part 2

In the second of a two-part article, Alan Sargent looks at the functions of today's gardens manager.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Products & Kit Resources