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A strategy for tackling invasive species: The National Trust Invasive Species Ireland Forum 2009 Maurice Turley Biodiversity Officer 7 th April 2009. Abstract - A strategy for tackling invasives: The National Trust.

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A strategy for tackling invasive species:

The National Trust

Invasive Species Ireland Forum 2009

Maurice Turley

Biodiversity Officer

7th April 2009

abstract a strategy for tackling invasives the national trust
Abstract - A strategy for tackling invasives: The National Trust
  • The problems created by invasive species and the impacts on areas of high conservation value are well documented. The National Trust NI manages over 12,000 Ha of countryside and coast, which includes – land within 22 designated areas, over 600 Ha classed as a NI priority habitat, as well as numerous priority and site specific species of conservation interest. The impacts and potential threat posed by existing and new invasive species have huge implications for the Trust.
  • The control of invasive species has been an historical practice at many National Trust properties and is built into management plans; however there has not been an overall strategic approach that tackles the invasive problem at a regional level. The size of the problem posed by invasive species has not been documented, namely the amount present and the species involved. In addition, the consequences for the Trust in terms of time involved, resources and capital investment needed to tackle invasives are unknown. Also and crucially, the risk associated with current and new potential invasives and their impacts for future management planning has not been investigated.
  • To address some of these issues the Trust are currently undertaking a project that aims to gain an understanding of the scale and the threat posed by invasive species on land under Trust’s management. It is hoped the information obtained will form a baseline of ‘what and where, and how did it get there’ from which strategic judgements can be made, and actions carried out based on sound judgements from scientific analysis. As highlighted on many occasions the successful eradication of invasive species depends on working in partnership. By consultation with catchments area plans, NIEA, ISI and others, it is envisaged the information gained from this project can be shared and be used to inform others of good practice.
  • The specific example of Glastry Ponds, a major site of Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (floating pennywort), will be outlined. The relative success of the various methods of control of species will be discussed. This project was a joint partnership between NIEA, Rivers Agency and The National Trust.

1. Invasive Alien Species on National Trust Properties in Northern Ireland

A status and assessment report

2. Glastry ponds – Floating pennywort

national trust ni
National Trust NI
  • 62 Properties in NI
  • NTNI manages 12,000 Ha of countryside and over 200 Km of Coastline
  • Over ½ land managed is a NI priority habitat
  • 22 properties with 4,426 Ha situated within an ASSI
  • Significant biodiversity resource

White park bay

status of invasive aliens problems
Status of Invasive Aliens: Problems
  • Different techniques used to tackle invasives at different sites
  • No prioritisation of invasive species for control
  • No measures in place to dispose off and prevent spread of invasive species
  • No knowledge of and preparation for potential future invasives
  • No overall coordinated approach to tackling invasive species
status of invasive aliens aims objectives
Status of Invasive Aliens:Aims & Objectives
  • Identify all invasive alien flora present within national trust properties
  • Obtain a measure of the extent and rate of spread of invasive alien plants
  • Document current actions and techniques used to control invasive alien plants
  • Identify areas at high risk and needing priority action
  • Gathering information on work already carried out and the evaluate the relative success and failures of adopted techniques
  • Obtain a regional overview of the scale of invasive flora
  • Collation of existing information and research on invasive aliens
status of invasive aliens outcomes
Status of Invasive Aliens: Outcomes
  • One source for management prescriptions, best practice guidelines with up to date control techniques
  • Identification of species and properties needing priority action
  • Regional overview of the scale and threat of invasive aliens
  • Distribution of invasive species throughout the region
  • Information to be built into property management plans and nature conservation management plans
  • Identification of main habitats under threat from invasive aliens
hydrocotyle introduction
Hydrocotyle - Introduction
  • Glastry major site of floating pennywort (Hydrocotyleranunculoides)
  • Brought to Britain in the 1980’s as a plant for tropical aquaria and garden ponds
  • Grows in shallow, slow-flowing eutrophic water bodies and forms dense interwoven mats of vegetation
  • The plant can grow up to 30cm a day
  • This mat starves the water body of light, nutrients and oxygen which kills many of the species living in it

Source: -

glastry ponds location
Glastry ponds - Location

(Image: Google maps)

glastry ponds hydrocotyle
Glastry ponds - Hydrocotyle

(Image: Trevor Renals.)

glastry ponds crassula
Glastry ponds - Crassula
  • Glastry problem initially been new Zealand pigmyweed (Crassula helmsii )
  • Localised on the bankside, in the water column and on the surface in most of the ponds
  • Action providing public information and raising public awareness (cleaning fishing tackle, waders etc.)
glastry ponds summary
Glastry ponds - Summary
  • Initially identified in Glastry ponds in 2004
  • Experimental control using a grapple hook and vehicle tow – manageable for small amounts
  • Winter 07/08 & 08/09 NT, Rivers Agency, NIEA joint effort to control Hydrocotyle in main ponds
  • 30 Tonnes of material removed from one pond
  • Removed vegetation left to compost on bank side
  • Removal of material concentrated on material in the middle of the pond – material at pond edge more complicated
  • Early spring – new invasive Azolla covered pond
  • Experimental use of cover matting on two sections of the ponds
glastry ponds present
Glastry ponds - Present

Main Pond - Present

invasives next step
Invasives – Next step
  • Integrate invasive management into property management plans
  • Concentrate resources on high risk species and sites
  • Training and support for staff on the ground
  • Local stakeholder involvement
  • Raising awareness
  • Working in partnership