These past two weeks have been very busy for our volunteers that have been trained to spray Giant Hogweed near the River Bollin in order to control it. If you remember (or if not, have a look through our previous posts), 11 volunteers were NPTC trained for their PA6AW certificates, which enables the certificate holder to use herbicides near water. On 10th and 15th May this training was put into practice!
On 10th May we met at the Green Dragon pub in Lymm who kindly let us use their car park as a rendezvous point, and kitted up to go out and treat the Giant Hogweed in the fields adjacent to the pub, and also those that were affecting the fish pass near Heatley Mill. The giant hogweed here has been found in abundance over the past few years, and as a project we have not had the resource to deal with giant hogweed in this area before now. Thanks to our newly trained volunteers we have been able to make great headway here in only one day. Ten volunteers and five Environment Agency staff came along to help out, and everyone spent the whole day working. You can see on the map below the area we covered, and some photos showing the extent of the problem.
On 15th May we focused our efforts on controlling Giant Hogweed in Hale where BEACON has worked with other volunteers and contractors in the past to spray the field, woodland and footpath areas here. On this VERY hot day, four volunteers turned out and again did a good days work. Access here was much more difficult as was access to water (but we managed!) and everyone did a sterling job to control the hogweed in the field area in the heat.
This is all very important work as it links in with the work other landowners, interest groups and local organisations are doing to control Giant Hogweed on their land upstream of these areas. Huge thanks to all the volunteers who work tirelessly to control invasive non-native species, and also to the Environment Agency for providing funding to facilitate the training they needed.
If you are a landowner and would like to get involved in the Giant Hogweed control programme for this year please contact us here.
You can find out more about Giant Hogweed, what it does, how to identify and control it here.