THE programme has succeeded again this year. The River Tyne has been surveyed end-to-end, and due to the hard work of the farmers and volunteers, as of 1 August, we have eliminated all the Giant Hogweed currently growing. And all this despite lockdown. See the full story here
And to make life easier for anyone interested in walking, all the leaflets we know of which describe walks, which are listed on the same page, can also now be easily accessed using another interactive map.
Enjoy your walking!
Gladsmuir - Bachelor
Gladsmuir - Family
Lady's Walk - Before
Lady's Walk, after
Flowering heads have gone
Leaving bare stalks
After dealing with the "one we spotted in the distance"
5 bags of heads!
.... 3 weeks later ....
One of our Giant Hogweed spotter couples surveyed the River Tyne in Vogrie Park recently, and confirmed there is still none - i.e. it hasn't spread upstream from the major source of infestation just down from the A68. Good news. But on the way back home they noticed what looked like dozens of plants near the start of the Pencaitland Railway Walk. Checking the map I could see that this insignificant streamlet, called the Bellyford Burn, way up at Cousland, does eventually feed into the Tyne at Pencaitland. So I went and checked - and there not dozens, but a couple of hundred flowering giants - just when we thought we were removing the last few plants this year on the whole river!
The task in front of us...
So we made an emergency call for help, and many volunteers responded immediately. Those who could then assembled on site (obviously social distancing at all times), and over 2 hours dead-headed and bagged all the plants. Then James Wyllie, with his license and back-pack, sprayed all the leaves. The farmer later came and took the 8 large bags away for burning, and promised to come back and spray in the future. A success.
Is PPE always Yellow?
All Cut Off ...
(except last year's)
.. and bagged up
A major problem and a major solution!
Some of are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the River Tyne, and so despite lockdown have been able to go out looking for Giant Hogweed (//www.elcv.org.uk/links/). All these sightings have been added to the master map - see extract below. Where we haven't yet done any surveys we keep last year's sightings, as often the plants appear in the same places. This year's are coloured purple, so it's easier to tell them apart.
GH up to 3 foot wide (upstream from A1 Bridge)
Japanese Knotweed already 5 foot high (near Sandy's Mill)
Quiz: Name the 3 big green plants one behind the other
You can see our posts again, here!
In 2018 Facebook changed its rules, and it stopped us showing posts from our Facebook group. But that’s now fixed, well sort of – there are limitations – it doesn’t show anybody’s name, and multimedia are links rather than being shown. But it’s better than nothing!
But why not just take the plunge and join our group page at www.facebook.com/groups/ELCVPosts/. NB: In my view, all these scare stories about data harvesting are a global strategic storm in a teacup, or better a thimble!
Last week we sorted out a really muddy part of the footpath on the Tyne, downstream from Hailes footbridge. We improved the drainage by cutting 2 new channels across the path, burying plastic pipes, and covering them over. It was messy work, but by now it should all have dried out (I'll check when I get back from holiday!)
It may be attractive to look at, but Giant Hogweed can cause a very nasty burn. So we are eliminating it from the entire length of the river Tyne. But we need your help with spotting and recording the plants, so that the farmers who deal with them know where to look, and don't miss a single one (one flower can easily produce hundreds of new plants).
No experience is necessary - you'll quickly get to recognise the plant, and ideally we go out in pairs. You just need the odd half day free over the spring/summer, and be willing to get your wellies dirty! See the full story at //www.elcv.org.uk/tasks/invasives/the-program/