Today (Saturday 14th May 2016) an even bigger team went out to tackle the Giant Hogweed upstream and downstream from the Halfpenny Bridge. The larger team went downstream and found many specimens but not as many as previous years. We are winning! The smaller team went upstream, intending to deal with the nasty baddies up to the Dolerw footbridge and into Dolerw Park. They didn’t achieve that encountering a major forest around the Longbridge. Another team will meet at 2 pm on Tuesday 17th May to try to complete this exercise.
The team ready to start
Today we cleared a few paths through the Himalayan Balsam to provide easier access to the beach between the Halfpenny Bridge and Long Bridge. This area is well used by fishermen and families and the amount of Balsam removed was negligible. While dealing with these plants we saw that the seeds are ripe and ready for eating. Please do your bit to control this invasive by collecting and eating these delicious seeds. There’ll still be plenty of flowers for the bees!
Today we had a successful session tackling the Hogweed growing on the recreation area where the Mochdre Brook meets the Severn. 5 Custodians decimated those nasty plants and because the ground was soft we were more successful than usual in getting the roots out. The impression is quite clear that there are less Giant Hogweed plants than usual and most of them are this season’s seedlings. We are definitely winning but will never completely stop them of course. The other good sign is that the native hogweed is now thriving so we are helping the good, local guys. Well done the team!
There is another session up and down stream from the Halfpenny Bridge on Saturday, 14th May. All are welcome.
Yes, it’s that time again. The hogweed has crept up on us while we’ve not been looking and is now in urgent need of attention. See attached photo of some specimens near the Mochdre Brook.
Please let me know if you are available/willing to participate in a morning session on either Thursday 12th May and/or on Saturday 14th.
Mike Davies, firstname.lastname@example.org
During our recent attack on the Giant Hogweed we also identified stands of Japanese Knotweed and Paula sent a report of their location to Natural Resources Wales. I’m glad to be able to say that today a team from Natural Resources Wales were out on the river bank spraying this nasty invasive. If you see more stands of either Giant Hogweed or Japanese Knotweed let us know and we’ll try to deal with them.
Today a small group of volunteers (four of us) completed the attack on the Hogweed downstream of the Halfpenny Bridge. There were some very large samples that have grown considerably since our recent work in this area was curtailed. There are also a number of substantial stands of Japanese Knotweed developing and the start of a lot of Himalayan Balsam. There are still a few major stands of Giant Hogweed in the region between the Longbridge and the Dolerw Bridge that we will tackle in the next few days.
Today a team of 8 volunteers split into 3 groups to tackle the rapidly growing Giant Hogweed. We made a substantial reduction in numbers of plants at the Mochdre Brook and both upstream and downstream of the Halfpenny Bridge. More volunteers would have joined us if not for a mix up in the meeting location. We’ll make it clearer next time. In the meantime, a job well done.
As the result of Mike receiving an email notification of Giant Hogweed in the Vaynor area, I took a walk from the Halfpenny Bridge to Vaynor, in search of any offending plants.
I managed to find 3 x 7ft high specimens and 8 smaller plants, which I managed to dispose of.
You can see from the photo that the large specimen Hogweed at Vaynor, was accompanied by some Japanese Knotweed, which I had to cut down in order to get at it.
As I commented in an earlier post, the Hogweed at Vaynor wood appears to be under control with very little re-occurrence of the weed after our clearance work there earlier this year.
This is a battle that we will never win, but at least we are maintaining a safe river bank for people to enjoy and this is what the RSC’s work is all about.
Giant Hogweed & Japanese Knotweed.
Today Joan Avery and I tackled the Giant Hogweed growing on the left bank downstream of the Halfpenny Bridge. We must have destroyed about a dozen, some of them 8 or 9 ft high in full flower. I know, there’ll be more to come but at least these particular ones are no longer a danger. Our new digging tools, courtesy of Severn Rivers Trust, worked well in getting the roots out, particularly on young plants.
We also saw some very healthy stands of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, but declined to deal with them.
A survey of the Japanese Knotweed has recently been carried out by Paula Scott, Mike Davies and Russ Edwards.
The photo below shows the results of the current survey and those of the previous survey in 2012, for comparison. It is quite alarming how this invasive plant has spread in that short period of time.
On my doggie walk this afternoon, I noticed that one of the Giant Hogweeds that I had attacked earlier this year, has started to regrow and is showing a lot of strong leaves.
This is in spite of the base of the plant being severed with a hoe and it confirms Joan Avery’s comments that these plants will attempt to regenerate at the first opportunity.
Although it won’t have time to turn to seed this year, I will endevour to finish it off as soon as possible.
I have noted however, that during my walk to the Mochdre Brook, this is the only occurance of the plant that I have seen and the only other invasive species is the Himalayan Balsam, which is prolific all along the river banks.
Well go figure! You wait weeks for crayfish and then 7 come along! Just caught that many at the site near Milford Hall today. Pity they didn’t jump into our traps sooner so we could give them their 15 minutes of fame at the food festival. Solves the mystery of why they disappeared. They didn’t.
We have put on some information on the edible nature of Himalayan Balsam on the web site. If you would like recipe ideas or just info on what you can eat, check out Invasive Species and follow the links. If you have any other ideas for recipes, please post them as well. Collecting seed saves your wallet and the environment!
I took a walk up the river to the Mochdre Brook today and I was encouraged by the fact that there is virtually no Giant Hogweed to be seen anywhere. The native Hogweed is now turning to seed and therefore, so would the Giant, if it were still around.
I know that we will never eradicate this pest, but we are making a difference and that is all that matters. Well done team!
I see that the Balsam has been cut back around Dolerw but some has been left (rightly) for the insects.
However it is nearly overgrowing the track down Vaynor (by the railway bridge) and is spoiling the walk that Mike mentioned in an earlier post. This stuff appears to spring up from nowhere virtually overnight and I suppose you either love it or hate it.
The Environment Agency, now called Natural Resources Wales, have been spraying Japanese Knotweed this week along the stretch of the river which is down from the Halfpenny Bridge and towards the Pump House. We as River Severn Custodians generally report any large stands of this stuff and they come out to spray, but it would appear that they have done this particular spraying off their own bat.
This morning, Joan Avery and I, tackled quite a long stretch of the left bank of the river around Milford Hall at the invitation of Sally Rackham. Many of the flowering monsters were growing right on the edge of the river and could only be reached by wading along the river. Luckily the river is still low enough for this in spite of more water flowing now than last week. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever do more than a containment action, still, it is satisfying to see them topple.
Mike and I have had two more sessions dealing with hogweed near the town, in spite of the efforts with John Wigley last week. On Friday we dealt with the left hand bank from the Halfpenny Bridge down to Mumford’s building. Today we did the right bank from the Halfpenny Bridge up to the Long Bridge. In both cases we found a number of flowering monsters that we’re sure weren’t there a week ago. These really are a challenge and can spring up and flower incredibly quickly. We’ve now heard about some more up by Milford that need dealing with before they spread.
I have just had a very enjoyable day coaching into Chester and enjoying a delicious lunch on a boat sailing down the canal. I was shocked to see so many trees being allowed to grow on the walls of the canal and one area where Japanese knotweed was rampant. That had already started to destroy the wall again but the worst shock was coming across our Giant Hogweed, A patch about 20 feet in length by 8-10feet from the wall to the canal edge with at least 10 giant specimens in full bloom. On talking to the ‘skipper’ about them he said he knew how lethal they were and had seen first hand how 2 lads he knew were scarred by them.
But he hadn’t thought to notify the authorities about this patch!!!
I fail to understand some people. Anyway, he had the decency to find out the telephone number for me to report it. I will let you know if I get any response.
You will probably say, don’t get involved outside ‘our patch’ but to be honest, I don’t think any of our members could ignore it. It was horrendous!
Posted on behalf of Joan
This morning John Wigley and I tackled some of the Giant Hogweed between Cambrian Bridge and Longbridge. There were a few in difficult location, including a flowering monster on the left bank reached by wading across the river. Good job the water level is low. Joan Avery has reported another couple upstream from Dolerw Bridge. We’ll try to tackle those in the next few days.