Not all greenery is festive – that’s the reminder from the Environment Agency this Christmas, after teams have removed more than 1,000 tonnes of highly-invasive floating pennywort from river networks in the Anglian region. By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Next month, June 2019, sees the project’s first work parties, where partners and volunteers will clear mats of Floating Pennywort from the river network. Hi Tony This discretion can be exercised via statutory powers under s165 of the Water Resources Act to carry out flood risk management works. The Lower Colne Catchment Floating Pennywort Management CVFC Plan is a two-year pilot project that aims to use a collaborative approach in … There is no legal obligation for riverside landowners to remove Floating Pennywort (unless they are responsible for introducing it). Learn more about invasive species – and how you can help stop the spread – on the Non-native Species Secretariat’s website. Tags. However, we do have discretion to remove it under our statutory powers. The project was awarded £4,385 from Cambridge Water’s PEBBLE grant and was also funded and supported by eight other organisations, including the Environment Agency. on 18 October 2020. This aquatic invasive can grow up to 20 cm a day producing 70 kg of wet weight per square metre. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated, Invasive species week: Floating pennywort a spreading menace, Keep an eye out for floating pennywort this winter, Weeding out non-native invasive species in Cambridgeshire, Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support, Transparency and freedom of information releases, Check yourself, your clothing, and any equipment that has been on or in the water, Thoroughly clean and remove any suspected specimens, leaving them at the site where they came from – preferably out of the water and on the banks, Report sightings to the Environment Agency’s 24/7 hotline: 0800 80 70 60, Dry your equipment thoroughly and well before re-launching it or using it again. The teams have also tackled 50 new patches that appeared this year on the River Witham between Lincoln and Chapel Hill. Hi Alan Paul Separovic, team leader at the Environment Agency, said: “Floating pennywort can cause damage to our natural habitat, threaten our native ecology, and prevent people from enjoying pastimes that bring them closer to nature, like fishing, boating and canoeing. Introduced in the 1980s as an ornamental aquatic plant, Floating Pennywort’s pretty appearance belies its aggressively invasive nature. Comment by AndyB As part of the annual maintenance programme, the Environment Agency has been managing floating pennywort for several years in locations such as the River Wey and the Foudry Brook. Environment Agency officers’ long-term plan of attack involves working methodically down the rivers to clear the weed, and revisiting and double-checking previously cleared stretches. Dave Willis, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, said: “The Environment Agency is excited to be working together with volunteers from a range of organisations who play a key role in the surveillance and management of floating pennywort. The project began in 2018 which saw the creation of the Colne Floating Pennywort Management Plan. We formed a project steering group of local stakeholders, which includes Hillingdon council, the Canal & River Trust, and Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative. Emailing us: enquiries_THM@environment-agency.gov.uk Not sure if it is floating pennywort? Workshops are essential for fostering skills among local communities dealing with something like Floating Pennywort. Alan has developed and implemented a combined manual and chemical approach to tackle this species from its source in Sutton, and work until it is out of the river in Wandsworth. But it’s a bit like dealing with litter; we can all play a part in disposing of it properly and tidying up, even where it’s not our fault. posted on As we continue to learn how best to reduce the range of Floating Pennywort in the Colne Valley, we will apply what we learn and make sure this is widely shared, both within the catchment community and with other communities elsewhere who could also benefit. https://environmentagency.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/10/a-united-front-against-floating-pennywort-a-new-way-to-tackle-an-invasive-species-in-the-colne-valley/. But the Environment Agency is continuing to battle the weed this winter. It can become so prolific that boaters, anglers and others can’t use the waterway, and it even clogs sluices, weirs and drains, potentially increasing flood risk. This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Floating pennywort, copyright GBNNS This highly invasive plant is a real problem for our waterways. Total eradication is probably impossible – but we still have plenty of unaffected watercourses and wetlands that we should fervently protect. The project had: We have a record of our experience in our blogs at https://camvalleyforum.uk/. posted on We approached Groundwork South, the driving force behind the Colne Catchment partnership, ColneCAN. on 10 May 2019. Removal efforts will continue into the spring, and the Environment Agency is appealing to anglers, boaters and others who spend time on or near the water to report any patches they see – and to take precautions to avoid spreading it. Paul Separovic, team leader at the Environment Agency said: Floating pennywort can cause damage to our natural habitat, threaten our native ecology, and prevent people from enjoying pastimes that bring them closer to nature, like fishing, boating and canoeing. Grantchester Mill September 2017, before clearance. Spreading itself across our waterways like a lush green carpet is one of nature’s enemies, growing up to 20cm a day and suffocating native plants and fish. The spokesman added: “Rather than try to remove the plant it is important to report any sightings of floating pennywort to the Environment Agency via our free ‘Plant Tracker App’ or by calling our national customer contact centre on 03708 506506. It can be used to identify Floating Pennywart. Mike Williams We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. For our part, the Environment Agency will continue to provide technical support and advice on environmental best practice. We started off by contacting our local EA biodiversity specialist. On the Great Ouse, teams with weedboats are harvesting and removing the pennywort onto the banks, where it can compost down safely and naturally. ontact the Environment Agency (England and Wales) or SEPA (Scotland) for advice on disposal. Comment by For the Cam we have a local coordinator who is part of the EA's team achieving Water Framework Directive objectives through local projects. Make sure you remove every last piece. Introduced widely across Europe as an ornamental pond species, pennywort has now become established in the wild with serious economic and ecological consequences. We’d like to thank our partner organisations, local communities, and especially the dedicated volunteers who go out of their way to help with removing the weed. Comment by Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone. Floating pennywort was first naturalised in 1990 as a result of discarded plants from garden ponds and has now spread to hundreds of water bodies throughout England and Wales, although it was banned from sale in 2014. Environment Agency - Tel: 08708 506 506 www.environment-agency.gov.uk Scottish Environment Protection Agency Tel : 01786 457 700 www.sepa.org.uk Floating pennywort of vegetation, with stem growth rates of up to Further information may also be found on the 20cm per day. Floating Pennywort is an invasive plant that is choking our rivers, streams and canals. posted on Over the next few weeks the EA is also surveying the Rother (by canoe!) I see there is a list of coordinators at a more regional level https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/map-of-water-management-catchments These people would help to point in the right direction. Hartford church organ appeal hits right note . on 21 May 2019, You can find ID sheets for all invasive non-native species at the GB non-native species secretariat website The Environment Agency is under no obligation to remove floating pennywort. http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=47, Comment by Mike Foley Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) arrived in the upper Cam in about 2012, completely covering it fo r months in 2016. Environment Agency (EA) - The EA is under no obligation to remove Floating Pennywort, but they do have discretion to do so. Comment by ALAN CLARKE Floating pennywort, originally from America, is an invasive plant that arrived in the UK in the late 80s and has since caused havoc in the environment. Tony Jackson on 11 February 2020. posted on Well enough, but how does one find a contact point for a real person in the EA to discuss the practicalities of pennywort removal by a voluntary group? We find that if we don't deal with these outbreaks promptly break-off strands drifting downstream cause new growth. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. The Thames Floating Pennywort Action Group is a team of Environment Agency staff from across our organisation that you have probably never heard of. Learning lessons in the Lower Colne catchment. Good quality close-up photos would help others to identify this plant elsewhere. Floating Pennywort has been found present at four sites around Yateley and efforts are underway to prevent it becoming established in the River Blackwater. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Preventing the Spread of Floating Pennywort In 2012, the Environment Agency cleared 4km of the plant from the River Colne. Good luck! If you find floating pennywort on a watercourse please note the location and report it to your local Environment Agency Office. Find out more. Reminder issued after EA removes 1,000 tonnes of the invasive species from the Anglian region’s rivers, The Environment Agency has been removing floating pennywort, an invasive species, from rivers. The plant is notoriously difficult to control – it can grow up to 25cm a day in the right conditions and even a small fragment can re-grow into a new plant. We find that in stretches with deep silt and poor bank access, canoes are indispensible for both taking out mats and for seek and destroy missions. Riparian owners are also not obliged to remove it, unless it can be shown that they planted it, though if it is on their land they do have a duty to take reasonable action to ensure it does not cause damage to neighbouring properties. on 21 October 2020. Shiny, kidney-shaped leaves with crinkled edge, frequently broader than long . RiverCare might be able to provide guidance as they sometimes work alongside the EA on Pennywort. In this partnership, ColneCAN manage the project, using its strong local base to draw in support and engage with the public, landowners and other stakeholders. We use cookies to collect information about how you use GOV.UK. The Environment Agency’s work helps to protect and improve the environment. entre for Ecology & … Don't give up - we did manage to get rid of floating pennywort from Exminster Marshes (part of Exe Estuary SSSI and SPA) after several years of hard work. Sources of advice on identification and control of Floating Pennywort are available elsewhere. For more information go to Nipping Floating Pennywort in the bud! In a river catchment to the west of London’s outskirts, Floating Pennywort has steadily expanded its range. This aquatic invasive plant can be found along the river from Carshalton to Wandworth. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information. Comment by exchange Floating pennywort, or to release it into the environment. The Environment Agency has been removing floating pennywort, an invasive species, from rivers Not all greenery is festive – that’s the reminder from the Environment Agency … Map of floating pennywort presence in the Middle to Lower Thames Environment Agency Operations Field Team removing floating pennywort from the River Thames … As a result, small fragments of the plant were not removed and the plant regrows. Unfortunately you can hardly go a few yards along the Cam downstream of Cambridge without encountering yet another large Pennywort mat. We enlisted volunteers to map out where floating pennywort currently is in the river network.  And we now have the Lower Colne Floating Pennywort Management Plan – our plan of attack to fight the floating menace! If we all do our parts, we can help protect our natural environment for people and wildlife into the future. During 2010 the Environment Agency has employed a contractor to spray with herbicide any Floating Pennywort colonies found from the Rother all the way down the Don and South Yorkshire Navigation to Crimpsall (Doncaster prison) (twice). on 20 May 2019. Identification throughout the year Varies little throughout theyear, although in the winter it is most likely to be found at the water’s edge. This blog gives an insight into our work. Volunteers from local fishing, canoeing and boating groups are also chipping in by removing rafts of the weed with their hands, nets and bin bags. By working together we can reduce this highly invasive plant’s impact and improve the … Tiny white flowers are rare, but if present, they appear between July and August. More than 500 tonnes were removed from the Bedford Ouse, 400 tonnes from the River Cam, and 200 tonnes from the Ely Ouse. Floating Pennywort is notoriously difficult to control and despite many small-scale management efforts, removal has been unsuccessful as projects have not been undertaken on a large enough scale, or for a long enough duration. A new population can quickly become established from a single fragment drifting downstream, soon dominating the waterbody with a dense raft of vegetation. You can change your cookie settings at any time. In 2012, the Environment Agency cleared 4km of the plant from the River Colne. Although the EA website is grandiose, it is very lacking in defined information to allow one to drill down to a responsible person in any particular field or location. A multi organisation group includes input from The Blackwater Valley Partnership, the Environment Agency, Thames Water, the Loddon Catchment Partnership, the Loddon Fisheries Consultative plus the owners of the various affected sites. A spokesman for the Environment Agency said there was a historic problem of pennywort in the River Cam. The battle against Pennywort on the Cam above Cambridge is so close to being won, but a very small number of strands mysteriously still appear and we cannot be complacent. Image (c) Environment Agency. Look out for pictures on social media. The spokesman added: “Rather than try to remove the plant it is important to report any sightings of floating pennywort to the Environment Agency via our free ‘Plant Tracker App’ or by calling our national customer contact centre on 03708 506506. This makes it difficult to punt or canoe up the river, out-competes native species and deoxygenates the water, killing fish. Description: Floating pennywort resembles a very large, robust version of the native Irish marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris L.). We've had some more outbreaks this summer in the city, dispatched asap. It’s part of a sustained attack on the non-native species this winter that sees the EA working with partners, contractors, local communities and volunteer groups to clear the plant – even by hand, when necessary. We knew that something different – something wider-reaching and sustainable – had to be attempted if we were to avoid repeating the cycle. We had previously suceessfully eradicated Floating Pennywort from the Upper Cam (see blog posts from 2017-19) so we were very concerned when we were notified on 11 March 2020 by the Environment Agency that they’d received a new report of Floating Pennywort on Shelford Stream; a small chalk stream watercourse that flows into Hobsons Conduit, then the Cambridge Botanic Garden and the … Click here for Pennywort Resources. Together, we agreed a 2-year project to test out a new approach – to co-ordinate people across the catchment to remove floating pennywort, wherever and whenever it rears its pretty head. posted on It grows very rapidly in late summer, up to 20cm per day, and is responsible for swamping waterways, blocking water flow, crowding out native plants and taking oxygen from fish and insects. posted on We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person, Join our amazing field operations team in Yorkshire, Improving the water environment in the north-western Lake District and Cumbria, http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=47, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/map-of-water-management-catchments. As well as advancing the frontline, the teams also tidy up riverbanks so there’s less for the floating pennywort to cling to, which will help reduce its spread. Paul Separovic, team leader at the Environment Agency said: Floating pennywort can cause damage to our natural habitat, threaten our native ecology, and prevent people from enjoying pastimes that bring them closer to nature, like fishing, boating and canoeing. Look at the plant tracker website or download the app at www.planttracker.org.uk You can also report sightings using the plant tracker app. This was then followed up with removal of any remaining plants by hand. Become a Supporter. v fenwick We also manage flood risk and encourage sustainable development. all the way up to Chesterfield to try to find the source of the infestation. That’s why we’re reminding people to help us stop the spread of this aquatic invader – make sure to check, clean and dry your clothes and equipment thoroughly after being in the water, and report sightings to us on 0800 80 70 60. With Covid-19 restrictions in force, one punting company didn't open for business and a mat started up out of sight of the public. Similarly, the Environment Agency has no duty to remove it. Since 2018, large mats only proliferate downstream of Bottisham Lock, beyond the stretch for which the Cam Conservators are responsible and Cam Valley Forum volunteers operate. In a river catchment to the west of London’s outskirts, Floating Pennywort has steadily expanded its range. Floating pennywort forms dense mats that can affect oxygen levels in the water, crowd and kill off native wildlife, and damage habitat. “The Environment Agency is excited to be working together with volunteers from a range of organisations who play a key role in the surveillance and management of floating pennywort. Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides) is native to North America. You’ve accepted all cookies. Top tips for preventing the spread of floating pennywort: Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details. Contact the Environment Agency to speak to a specialist. The £10,000 fund forms an integral part of the Lower Colne Floating Pennywort project, which is overseen by Groundwork South and the Environment Agency. If a quick internet search for Floating Pennywort tells you anything, it’s that this fast-growing non-native species is of increasing concern in the UK. Comment by But without catchment-wide ongoing management, the problem returned. Removing floating pennywort Many Hands Make Light Work It’s not just the Environment Agency that has been involved in trying to eradicate this problem. It also increases the flood risk. posted on Staff from the Environment Agency cut reeds and removed the floating pennywort from the river itself using work boats. 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