Alex Attwood, the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Environment Minister, revealed that invasive plants cost Northern Irish economy an estimated £46.5m a year. The invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and floating pennywort have detrimental effects to both the economy and environment.
Attwood comments on invasive plants
Attwood said that "increasing awareness of the threat of invasive species and the need to tackle them is key to achieving success."
"In Northern Ireland we have been subject to the impacts of invasive species that have been introduced over hundreds of years. Our ancestors in Victorian times for example introduced several invasive plant species such as Japanese knotweed and Giant hogweed which are now widely established.”
"In the past 20 years we have also seen an increase in the numbers of invasive aquatic plants and invasive marine species being detected in our environment,"
Removing invasive plants
Northern Ireland has had success in removing invasive plants in the past. Floating pennywort, a plant that can grow up to 20cm a day forms a thick ‘raft’ over water that can cause waterweeds, algae to die by deoxygenating the water, has been successfully removed from at least two sites in Northern Ireland to date.
Alex Attwood suggested that the best method to solve problems with invasive plants was to form partnerships with the government, the community and local environment groups and to get them to work in tandem.
There have been major attempts to removing floating pennywort at five other sites across Northern Ireland. These five projects are currently on-going and it is hoped that a strategy will help the Government officials to tackle the problem effectively.
Contact an invasive plant specialist
If you suspect that you have an problem with an invasive plant then contact Wise Knotweed Solutions today on 0808 231 9218 or email the team online.
Alternatively you can find your local branch.
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