Churnet Valley partnership team Ian Kynaston and Ian Wykes have been out with Tracey, the Wetland Officer from the Tame Valley in Warwickshire. They were looking at sites where rust fungus will be introduced to help tackle Himalayan balsam.
As we all know, Himalayan Balsam is an Invasive non-native species which is degrading our riparian habitat. And it loves the land around the Churnet and is starting to creep towards the uplands despite the many balsam bashing initiatives we hold each year. Already our Churnet Valley Volunteer gang are out pulling seedlings at St Edwards in Leek.
This biological control trial is part of the RAPIDLIFE project which Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is the Midlands coordinator for, working with CABI scientists and Animal and Plant Health Agency
The sites being used for the trials are all in Heritage Lottery Fund landscape project areas of The Tame Valley Wetlands and The Churnet Valley.