The Wandle suffers in places from invasive or non-native plant species, including Himalayan Balsam, Floating Pennywort and Japanese Knotweed. These have a detrimental effect on other plant species by crowding out native, more delicate flora. This in turn can affect ecosystems more widely by limiting the food sources available for beneficial insects and pollinators which can further impact bird, fish and reptile populations.
The project focuses on eradicating a variety of invasive species along the river involving mapping their spread along the River Wandle and then tackling these to remove as many as possible. Local volunteers have undertaken action days to tackle and remove the invasive species from large stretches of the Wandle. A number of volunteers were also trained in application of pesticides and received professional licenses allowing them to effectively remove some of the tougher species!
An online toolkit for tackling invasive species has been produced and will be free to download online in 2017. The successful outcomes of the project, the online toolkit and the map of invasive species along the Wandle will all be presented at a strategic workshop taking place in February 2017. This annual meeting of the major landowners along the Wandle provides an opportunity to advance the strategy for tackling invasive species along the river.
To receive advice on tackling invasive species in your area or find out more about volunteering please contact The Wandle Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is part of the wider Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.