Volunteers for River Waveney Trust join fight against damaging weed

Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust.

Members of the survey team on the River Waveney. Picture: Courtesy of River Waveney Trust. - Credit: Archant

River Waveney Trusts' dedicated volunteers have been out across the catchment from Scole to Geldeston Locks, surveying and helping to remove problem plants. 

Warmer temperatures this year and a reduction in rainfall seem to be giving some of East Anglia’s unwanted invasive weed species a head start this year.

With escaped garden plants such as floating pennywort and Himalayan balsam thriving, typically hindered by cold winters, surveyors saw floating pennywort continuing to expand over winter this year.

Liam Smith, Wildlife Recovery Officer from Norfolk Non-Native Species, spent a day with RWT’s volunteers and said: “Invasive non-native species pose one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, both in the UK and worldwide.

"Floating pennywort is one of the top species that has a particular threat to Norfolk, with our vast network of chalk streams, rivers and the internationally recognised broads.

"The work of volunteers, professionals and supporting partners along the River Waveney shows how everybody has a part to play and that by working together, floating pennywort can be stopped in its tracks and hopefully eventually eradicated from our waterways,” he said.