Guiding Service

My guiding services are now available to assist fly fishermen on both game and coarse rivers. I'd be happy to advise and arrange your special day anywhere from one of Derbyshires finest trout and grayling rivers to your own local coarse river. Email Mick Martin for details and options. Please copy and paste into your own email

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Plant That Time Forgot

I tend to avoid blogging my river restoration attempts with the River Erewash Foundation but felt it neccasary to express my dissapointment at a common occurence along our riverbanks all over the UK.

The picture below shows Japenese Knotweed taking over a field along our river bank in Stapleford/Sandiacre area. Try to imagine the dried out bamboo like stems similar to fire sweeping across the field and your not that far from the truth. I reported a small area over a year ago but boy has it spread after last summer,to the point I thought reporting its growth again to the EA might be worth another crack.

Unfortunately the EA asked if its a flood risk (no suprises)and I replied " no, its the damage to habitat/fauna and the corrosion of riverbank that concerns me, along with the risk of spreading rapidly along our fields.
I was told yet again its not on their remit, yet again,leaving me wondering what actually is on the EA remit after feeling let down previously - many times. The EA then recommended contacting the landowner as its their responsibility to remove invasive species on their land. This particular field is claimed by nobody and after plenty of research and a few discussions with river specialists I came to the conclusion I was *issin in the wind.
Rivers everywhere are under attack from knotweed but as the plant rapidly grows out of control, so does the cost of removal, to the amount where nobody wants to know. This leaves the problem untouchable as the resources and costs involving stem injection and specialist removal from site become astronomical sending everybody running scared,totally unable to mount a challenge in our current financial climate.

Obviously dealing with this problem has been put on permanant hold and I will record the damage created in the desperate hope of somebody being shamed into doing something about this problem, preferably at its earlier more managable stages. This plant needs to be eradicated proffesionally as DIY attempts could increase the spread creating major problems all along your river system, creating a japenese jungle that destroys everything. Unfortunately I now fear every visit to the area will be comparible to a running kick in the nuts while having my hands tied behind my back - ouch!.

On the last pic notice the lumps of riverbank crumbling away with nothing binding the earth together, these stems drift downstream and start doing their damage in another location rapidly taking over miles of habitat. When scrolling back up to the top picture notice the bank before and after scenario captured at the edge of the plants spread.
Problems don't dissapear if you pretend their not happening , they just get worse.

Anyway just to finish on a bright note, the resident watervole nearby seems to enjoy wondering amongst the stems, safe under its umbrella I suspect.

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