Friday 23 March to Thursday 29 March 2018 has been designated as Invasive Species Week to highlight the problems caused by invasive non-native species.
For example, plants such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed were introduced as ornamentals in the Victorian era but have ‘jumped the garden fence’, threatening our native wildlife and causing economic and social problems.
Japanese knotweed is notorious for causing structural damage to property and giant hogweed has a toxic sap which can cause painful ‘burning’ blisters on people’s skin, whilst Himalayan balsam can grow in dense patches out-competing native wildflowers.
To help landowners meet their responsibilities to stop the spread of invasive non-native species, Local Action Groups have been set up in many parts of the country.
The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project (NFNNPP) is the ‘local action group’ which works closely with landowners and land managers to control invasive non-native plants in the New Forest, particularly along watercourses and in wetland habitats. The Project is hosted by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and supported by a range of partner organisations.