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Volunteers wanted to fight invasive plants in Lower Avon Valley

VOLUNTEERS are being urged to come forward to help combat invasive non-native plants in the west of the New Forest.

The project led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust aims to safeguard native wildlife in Lower Avon Valley.

Teams will target Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, American skunk cabbage, giant hogweed, creeping water primrose and parrots feather on waterways between Fordingbridge and Ringwood and tributaries of the River Avon.

Japanese knotweed will be among those targeted
Japanese knotweed will be among those targeted

New Forest non‑native plants officer Jo Gore said: “The project relies on volunteers and landowners help to make the project a success.

“Himalayan balsam pulling can be fun and sociable and a chance to make a real difference on stretches of stream that would normally not be accessible.

"With volunteers' help, many stretches of these streams are now bursting with native plants where before there was just balsam.”

Volunteers should be prepared to get messy as they work by the river pulling out the plants, which are thought to have escaped from private gardens several years ago.

Local landowners are also being asked to report any invasive plant species, with the possibly of receiving help to remove them, where funding allows.

To find out more about volunteering email joanne.gore@hiwwt.org.uk or call 07770 918293.

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