Alien plants under attack on the Broads
To some gardeners they may seem the perfect colourful addition to their garden. But for conservation officers on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads rhododendrons pose a direct menace to natural river plant life.
To some gardeners they may seem the perfect colourful addition to their garden.
But for conservation officers on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads rhododendrons pose a direct menace to natural river plant life.
The invasive pink flowering plants have spread to river ways from gardens and are beginning to choke the life out of other flora because few animals eat them.
On Wednesday a determined fight back against the alien menace took place on the Ormesby Broad, near Yarmouth, as 16 volunteers from power company EDF Energy helped clear half an acre of the killer plant.
If the rhododendrons, which were first bought over from Asia from the 18th century, are left unchecked then plants such as buckler ferns and reed and sedge would succumb to the towering pants, which can reach 5m in height.
The volunteers from EDF used chain and hand saws to hack down the rhododendrons and then burnt the remains.
- 1 One of the world's largest container ships anchors off coast
- 2 Adder warning in coastal areas as snakes come out to bask
- 3 Jailed this week: Paedophile and teen who blinded man
- 4 A146 near Beccles closed by police after crash
- 5 Woman who broke both legs in multiple places after fainting thanks NHS
- 6 Bank holiday beer festival to take place at seafront pavilion
- 7 New fully vegan café to open in Lowestoft
- 8 Three men arrested after 'unofficial Supermarket Sweep' in town centre
- 9 Mystery continues as owner of 'massive' snake yet to come forward
- 10 Family's appeal after factory worker's asbestos-related death
They will return to the Ormesby Broad, which is part of the Trinity Broads, in a few month's time to make sure no seeds or young plants remained to take root.
Hannah Gray, the Broads Authority conservation officer who oversaw the volunteers, said: 'Rhododendrons are not natural to the Broads there are very few creatures which eat them and so they remain unchecked and pose a threat to other plant life.'
Chris Mortimer, an EDF connections field manager based in Trowse, near Norwich, organised the volunteer working party.
He said: 'Days spent working on the Broads like this are a great challenge but also very rewarding because we have made a real difference to the countryside. It is also a great way of getting to know each other better.'
Any companies which would like to sign up to the Broads Authority volunteer scheme can call Maggie Engledow on 01692 677020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org