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NON NATIVE INVASIVE SPECIES

The Canal & River Trust has a comprehensive list of  Non Native Invasive species, three of which are pictured here. All of these plants occur on this stretch of canal, and all represent a risk to the bio diversity of the canal corridor. Please do not touch them. Here’s why:

1. Japanese Knotweed is a vigourous plant, which reproduces by rhizome. A very small piece of stem or root is viable, so if you snap off a piece of stem and drop it, you will be propagating the plant. Japanese knotweed out-competes other plants to produce mono cultures, removing the habitats needed for our wildlife.The broad, flat based leaves and mottled red stalks identify this plant.

2. Himalayan Balsam is an orchid like plant which propagates by seed. It produces thousands of very viable seeds which are shot  up to 7 metres from their pods which burst open when touched. As with knotweed, Himalayan balsam out-competes native plants producing mono cultures.

3. Giant hogweed is huge plant with huge seed heads. It is easy to confuse it with cow parsnip, which looks very similar. The hogweed differs in three major respects. It is able to grow taller, though the range of sizes for the two plants overlap, its seeds are a different shape and, most importantly, its sap is photo toxic. If you get sap on your skin, it will produce severe burns, which last for years. Don’t touch it.

PLEASE HELP US TO PROTECT NATIVE WILDLIFE. DO NOT TOUCH THESE PLANTS