Volunteers Protect River of Life from Invasive Species

In December 2013 the ‘River of Life’ project was finished, creating numerous ponds, backwaters and reed beds  in North Farm resulting in a fantastic wetland tapestry. Over the last month we have been back into the River of Life in order to maintain this habitat by removing the invasive species Crassula Helmsii or New Zealand Pygmy Weed.

Initially bought to the UK in 1911 from Tasmania as an oxygenating pond plant it has spread across much of England, transported by boats, machinery and wildlife. New plants can grow from fragments just 1cm long! As a result it spreads easily, is hard to manage and incredibly difficult to eradicate.

Managing Crassula is, however, very important as it often form dense mats which shade other plants and restrict oxygen in the water. As always, our excellent team of volunteers have risen to the challenge and helped to get Crassula in the River of Life waters under control.

Armed with wellington boots and tarpaulin, our wonderful volunteers waded out into a reed bed and dug out the clumps of Crassula which were starting to get established. They dug the plant out and encased it in the tarpaulin where we will leave it until it has died and there is no risk of the fragments spreading. Their efforts have helped to protect the delicate balance of biodiversity at River of Life and have hindered the spread of Crassula to nearby ponds.

This vital work would be impossible without our dedicated volunteers; thank you to each and every one of our volunteers who help to care for our much-loved land!

Find out more about becoming a volunteer.

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