We’ve reduced Giant Hogweed by 50% across Leeds city centre!
During Invasive Species Week, we’d like to celebrate the outstanding work Leeds City Council Flood Risk Management team have undertaken to treat invasive non-native species (INNS) along the River Aire.
As part of Leeds City Council’s commitment to improve the city’s waterways, the RSC have been delivering a holistic INNS management programme since 2018, with an aim to reduce invasive non-native species along the watercourse to improve biodiversity, maintain statutory obligations and reduce and remove INNS ahead of the phase 2 Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme capital works now underway.
Our team is specially trained to survey, advise, treat and report on invasive species such as the Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam found along the Aire catchment. Our tailor-made GIS mapping software allows us to track and record data and map sites for retreatment.
Hot of the press data from our recently completed phase 1 programme shows that since 2021, when we started digitalising our records, we have reduced the amount of Giant Hogweed by an incredible 50%!
Along with habitat loss, the introduction of invasive non-native species is one of the biggest threats to global biodiversity as non-native species out-compete native species for food, space, light and resources. INNS often dominate large areas, reducing the variety and number of species that would usually be present.
The work of the RSC continues to control the spread of invasive species in order to protect the diversity of native riparian plants, allowing wildlife to thrive. Creating a flourishing, biodiverse riverside makes our waterways more appealing for leisure use and as a place to live and work for those who reside along the river corridor. Sustaining and supporting the evolution of many rich and varied habitats, ensures we all have beautiful places to explore.
The benefit of engaging the RSC for this work is that, as a not-for-profit social enterprise, we invest our profits into Riverlution CIC and through working with us, we can deliver wider benefits to waterway improvement and deliver real social value.
Read more about Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme