Invasive Species

The wildlife wardens have become recently aware that the non-native invasive plant species Japanese Knotweed may be becoming more widespread within the parish. Japanese Knotweed has spread across most of the country over the last few decades and now presents a serious hazard to local wildlife. The plant spreads below ground growing in dense clumps that stops any other plant from growing and if left unchecked can takeover large areas. Unfortunately, the plant in this country has no natural predator so it can grow out of control.

When its presence is known, local landowners are taking action to remove it, but when the plant has become established it can be very difficult to eradicate.

Click on the link below to find out more about the plant and how to recognise it.

Japanese_knotweed ID

Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the responsibilities of the landowner are set out, see the link below:

To control it, cutting it down will not work, in fact it will make things worse as new plant can grow from a small fragment. Only the careful application of the correct weed killer will work and it can take between 2 to 3 years to take affect. Also you cannot place any of the plant remains in the green bin as this is illegal. It is best for it to dry out and then burn or dispose of as contaminated waste.

For the protection of our wildlife the presence of Japanese Knotweed is not welcomed, but if everyone does their part, its spread can be prevented.

American Mink

This non-native efficient predator is now increasingly been spotted at various points on the River Itchen. This animal can have a negative impact upon the local wildlife. They will kill ducks, small mammals and they will even take pets such as rabbits. Mink are a threat and should not be encouraged.

Unfortunately there is no national or local programme for the control of mink, so it is the responsibility of landowners and those with riperian rights to control mink on their property. Mink can travel long distances along the river and adjacent land in search of prey, so the precence of the animal can impact many landowners.

If you have mink on your property, please consult with Natural England on measures to stop mink from harming your wildlife.

Long Itchington Parish Wildlife Wardens

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