Be Plant Wise – Launch 8 March 2012
Minister Attwood launches ‘Be Plant Wise’ campaign to tackle invasive aquatic plants
Environment Minister Alex Attwood today launched ‘Be Plant Wise’, a
campaign to urge all gardeners to help stop the spread of invasive aquatic
Plants such as floating pennywort, Nuttall’s pondweed, curly waterweed, fringed waterlily and New Zealand pigmyweed have all caused problems in Northern Ireland.
The ‘Be Plant Wise’ campaign aims to highlight the problems caused when invasive aquatic species are released into the wild. It is designed to raise awareness amongst gardeners, pond owners and retailers of the damage caused by invasive aquatic plants and to encourage the public to dispose of these plants carefully to protect our environment by not allowing them to escape into the wild.
Encouraging gardeners to be careful Minister Attwood said: “Invasive aquatic plants have the potential to cause huge problems to our waterways, damage habitats, out–compete native species and harm wildlife. Excessive growth can also lead to problems for recreational activities such as fishing and boating which can impact on our enjoyment and use of such places.
“By being responsible gardeners, we can all help to protect our waterways and wildlife as well as helping to reduce the growing costs of dealing with these plants. If such species continue to grow at their current rate and we do not take action to inhibit their growth, the cost of clearing them could run into millions of pounds.
“My message to gardeners is: ‘Be Plant Wise’ when buying plants for your garden pond and when maintaining them.”
Further information on how to ‘Be Plant Wise’ can be found on the Invasive Species Ireland website at http://www.invasivespeciesireland.com