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Ban on sale of alien plants that choke ponds and rivers
9:00am Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Romsey
Hampshire & IoW Wildlife Trust has welcomed news that the sale of five particularly invasive non-native plants will be banned from April next year.
The five aquatic plants — parrot’s feather, New Zealand pygmyweed, floating pennywort, water fern and creeping water primrose — cause havoc to our native wildlife.
They grow quickly, forming dense mats in water, blocking out light and reducing oxygen, causing declines in the number of fish and other aquatic species.
They also make it difficult for boaters and anglers to use waterways and they increase flood risk.
Catherine Chatters, the trust’s New Forest non-native plants officer, says: “It costs thousands of pounds to control non-native pond plants, which are invading the special wetlands of the Forest.
“These important and sensitive habitats are threatened when people get rid of their surplus garden pond, instead of disposing of them responsibly by composting.”
Catherine added: “It is vital that people recognise the plants in their ponds. If you already have an invasive non-native plant, be careful to ensure fragments don’t ‘escape’ along ditches and streams when you’re cleaning out your pond.
“Even a tiny fragment of vegetation can start an invasion, causing problems in the countryside and costing a lot of money to eradicate.”
New Forest Non-Native Plants Project is promoting a “Be Plant Wise” campaign to local garden centres, encouraging them not to stock invasive non-native pond plants.
Mark Bradbury, of Romsey World of Water, says: “I understand the need for the ban to help stop the spread of these five invasive plants and to protect our wildlife.
“There are plenty of non-invasive alternatives that people can buy and which look very attractive in garden ponds.”