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Group aims to eradicate invasive species in river

'Balsam bashers' required by Friends of the Neb

Organisers of the 'Friends of the Neb' initiative are appealing for more volunteers, as part of their push to eradicate invasive species from the river.

The group is in the process of removing Japanese Knotweed and Himalyan Balsam from the banks of the Neb.

It's intended that both species will be expelled completely from the river's catchment area in the next five to ten years. 

Founder Roger Bankes-Jones is hopeful the pilot scheme can provide a role model to be applied at other river catchment areas across the Island:

"It needs doing, it needs collaboration, everyone can play a part, it is something that can be done by people of all ages, it crosses parish boundaries and is a national problem".

He says volunteers are needed particularly to help remove Balsam before it flowers and spreads in September, and describes the work as 'time consuming, but satisfying'.

The group has held guided walks to help familiarise people with the plants, and has received specialist training for two members to treat knotweed.
Members of the public are invited to attend an evening's 'Balsm bashing' at the Raggatt in Patrick, every Wednesday (22 May) from 6:30pm to 7:30pm over the next four weeks.
Mr Bankes-Jones explained the group's aims to Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne:

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