Calls for Carndonagh community to get active against invasive species
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Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Winter Heliotrope have been identified as the most problematic invasive species in Carn, following a comprehensive audit by the ECO Carn Network after its’ formation in 2019.
ECO Carn, which is a collaborative network of community organisations, including Spraoi, Donegal Co Co, Carn Community School, Barrack Hill Community Garden, Scouts, and others, is supported by Inishowen Development Partnership and Inishowen River’s Trust, who were awarded the contract to work with ECO Carn.
Last Month, the IRT and ECO ran a public workshop to share information on their plans with the wider public and a Balsam Bashing event which concentrated on the Himalayan Balsam along the Donagh River.
The next workshop, which will be held at the IDP office in Carn in the coming weeks, will focus on natural solutions for dealing with Japanese Knotweed. All concerned members of the public are welcome, in particular landowners who may have invasives on their land.
A spokesperson for the ECO Carn network said one of their key objectives is to try and tackle the problem with invasives around Carn using natural based solutions.
“We want to raise awareness of the issues with these species within the community but also to provide training to the general public on how to monitor and manage the species in a natural way,” the spokesperson added.
Trish Murphy, Inishowen River’s Trust, outlined how these species, particularly Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, are considered to be the greatest threats to our native iodiversity.
“Both species occur widely in the Carndonagh area, particularly on and close to waterways which facilitates easy transfer of the plants,” explained Trish.
A number of actions have already been delivered, with additional funding being secured from the Community Foundation of Ireland. However IRT and ECO Carn plan to develop the plan even further by and developing signage, information points and QR codes at key sites.
“This project aims to reduce the impact of these species on our biodiversity by creating awareness in the local community of local habitats and the impacts of invasive species on local ecology,” added. Denise McCool, IDP, who are supporting the roll out of the project.
“With the help and guidance of IRT we are taking a collaborative approach to tackling the issue of invasives through workshops that identify sustainable solutions and support behavioural change; reducing the use of pesticides through awareness raising and highlighting the impacts on our health, drinking water and air quality; and reducing the quantity of invasive species in the area.”
People who find invasives locally around Carn are encouraged to submit the records online via the Inishowen Rivers Trust website on www.inishowenriverstrust.com/invasive-alien- plants