Cork project a blueprint for tackling plant invaders
A biodiversity project in east Cork could provide a best practice blueprint on how to effectively manage invasive species.
South and East Cork Area Development (Secad) is two years into its biodiversity project on invasive species management and chose eight sites to implement a four-year plan to tackle Japanese Knotweed.
As a local development company, Secad works with the various State agencies, organisations and local authorities.
Crucially, it also works closely with community groups and manages the Tús community work placement scheme.
William O'Halloran is the Tús leader for the biodiversity project. He feels strongly that the profile gained by Japanese Knotweed can have a detrimental effect on efforts to control it.
"The story often gets sensationalised and this has led to people wanting to do something about it but they go about it without understanding how to do the work properly and, a lot of the time, end up contributing to the issue," he says.
Knotweed rarely occurs on a single property alone. On a hedgerow it may be partly on private property and partly on a public road, which raises issues on how it can be dealt with.
"Secad works across the community and part of what we do is about addressing gaps and making connections between different groups," Mr O'Halloran adds.