For the past couple of months, Simon Hirst, our River Steward, and his team of trained volunteers have been treating Japanese knotweed along the river and its tributaries.
Once the leaves of this invasive plant species start to drop, the window of opportunity for treating Japanese knotweed has closed for another year. Fortunately the weather stayed favourable this week and Simon and his team completed the final sections of river at Meltham Dyke and New Mill Dyke.
So, what happens next?
Japanese knotweed grows very fast, blocking sun from native species and causing them to die off. It means that when Japanese knotweed is treated, it leaves vast areas of bare riverbank.
Riverbank prior to treatment.
Riverbank following treatment.
Ready for the next phase
The ultimate aim of our INNS out programme is to re-colonise the riverbanks with native plant species, including woodrush. The reason for this is that native plants will sustain a wide variety of native lifeforms, from fungi and invertabrates to birds and mammels.
As Simon explains: "One of the best ways to determine if a plant is native to the area is by monitoring the number of different lifeforms it hosts. If it's home to, or provides nourishment for lots of different fungi, creatures, birds and mammels, the chances are it's a native species."
Preparing for re-planting
Late summer, Simon and our volunteers were out collecting seeds from native plant species. With the help of Growing Works and many of our volunteers, these are now being cultivated. When the time is right, the seedlings will be planted along the banks of the River Holme, where Japanese knotweed used to grow.
Want to help out?
If you'd like to get involved with growing seedlings, replanting native species or want to know more about other volunteering opportunities with us, please get in touch. Call 01484 661756 or email email@example.com.
Volunteers collecting woodrush seeds.
Ready to grow the woodrush seeds.
Woodrush seedlings in preparation for replanting.