Plea to help tackle invasive river plants

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Residents are urged to join volunteer days to tackle invasive plant species on the banks of the River Rother at Catcliffe.

The River Stewardship Company and Catcliffe Flood Action Group has secured funding from the Environment Agency to removeHimalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed - which spread out and stop native plants from growing.

Hellen Hornby, community team manager at the River Stewardship Company, said: “Invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam cover our riversides in the summer but when they die back in the winter the banks are left bare and more likely to erode leading to increased flood risk for certain areas.”

Garry Marsh, chairman of Catcliffe Flood Action Group, said: “If we can uproot the balsam before it has time to produce seeds we can prevent it spreading along the banks. We were successful last year but want to start earlier and cover a greater area.”

Volunteers are asked to help on Tuesday May 10 from 5pm, then Sunday May 22 and Sunday June 12 from 10am. The group will meet at the bridge on Treeton Lane, Catcliffe, S60 5SR.