New Forest Non-Native Plants

New Forest Non-Native Plants Project

The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project is a partnership project, hosted by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which aims to stop the spread of invasive non-native plants in the New Forest area, particularly along water courses and in wetland habitats. The Project Officers, Catherine Chatters and Jo Gore, liaise with landowners and land managers to control invasive non-native plants at the catchment scale with the help of volunteers and professional contractors.

Since its launch in 2009, the Project has tackled a wide range of invasive non-native plants including Himalayan balsam, giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, American skunk cabbage and parrot’s feather. These plants were all introduced to the UK as ornamental garden plants but have ‘jumped the garden fence’ and invaded the countryside, causing environmental, economic or social problems. They grow vigorously, spread rapidly and damage the environment by out-competing our native wildflowers. Many invasive non-native plants are aquatic, spreading when seeds or fragments of vegetation are carried downstream and causing harm by choking watercourses and blocking out the light.

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam  © Ashley Basil 

The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project aims to:

  • find out where non-native plants occur in the New Forest area;
  • offer landowners and land managers advice and practical help to control invasive non-native plants;
  • undertake and commission research relating to invasive non-native plants;
  • raise awareness about invasive non-native plants and the problems they cause.

The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project works closely with the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat and helps to implement The Great Britain Invasive Non-native Species Strategy (August 2015).

Calmore Guides pulling Himalayan balsam in the New Forest

How you can help stop the spread of invasive non-native plants...

Work Parties ... 

Please get in touch with Catherine Chatters on 07770 923315 or email Catherine.Chatters@hiwwt.org.uk if you are interested in volunteering. 

This 17 minute film was produced, filmed and directed by Sophie van der Meeren and Joe Constable of www.uniquewaves.com.

Project Partners

The New Forest Non-Native Plants Project is a partnership between Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Forestry England, Natural England, the New Forest National Park Authority and The Verderers of The New Forest.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust was a partner in the New Forest ‘Our Past, Our Future’ Landscape Partnership Scheme which, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, supported the work of the New Forest Non-Native Plants Project.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is grateful for financial support to the New Forest Non-Native Plants Project from the Environment Agency, the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, Forestry England, the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund, Natural England, the New Forest Trust’s ‘Love the Forest’ grant scheme, the Test & Itchen Catchment Partnership and Lymington and Pennington Town Council.