Islanders are being asked to help stop one of the most invasive plants in Britain spreading around Jersey.
Japanese knotwood smothers entire areas, dominates other plant life and even damages property and the Environment department want the public’s help to find out where it’s growing so that it can get rid of it.
Last year Islanders used the department’s smart phone PlantTracker app to record and email pictures of suspect plants straight to its plant health lab. Staff were then able to track them and identify 80 new sites across the Island which they are visiting to find out the scale of the problem. They hope more people will download the free app so that they can create a map of hotspots.
Environment’s head of plant health Scott Meadows said: “People can help in two simple but effective ways. If it’s on your property, please play your part and get rid of it.
“Secondly, because knowing where the plants are is the first part of any plan to eradicate it, please download the app and when you’re out and about, walking the dog, or wearing out the kids, if you spot this incredibly invasive plant, take a quick picture and email it to us. As we build up a more comprehensive picture of where it’s growing, we can assess the scale of the problem and target our resources more effectively.”
The department is working with the local construction industry to make sure it doesn’t spread when developers move soil between sites and is warning people not to let it take root. They say cutting, hand-pulling and herbicides are the best ways of getting rid of it. They are also looking into injecting the plant with glyphosate.
The PlantTracker app has tips on how to identify knotweed and is available at no charge from the iTunes App Store or Google Play or from http://planttracker.naturelocator.org/
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