Invasive Non-Native Species Survey Update - The Environment Agency

May 18, 2023

The River Stewardship Company (RSC) continue to carry out a full treatment programme for Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, and Floating Pennywort on all the main rivers of Yorkshire where a management programme is not already in place.

The Yorkshire wide invasive treatment programme includes all Environment Agency assets and third party land within the 10m river corridor. As well as responding to any concerns for invasives that need treating within the 10m river corridor we also carry out management plans for land and assets away from the waterways.

The work is priced and delivered by the River Stewardship Company through the Environment Agency’s Vegetation Management Framework with additional funds for the programme from an annual Yorkshire Water contribution.

The objective is to manage and to reduce the distribution and abundance of these invasive species.

The teams record the location and quantity of Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Floating Pennywort. This work builds on initial survey work carried out in 2018 covering the Upper Don and Rother catchments, as well as the Lower Don and Upper Aire tributaries. This has been expanded to the whole of Yorkshire.

The survey was designed in-house and is delivered through the ARC GIS recording app. We are currently looking at trialling the use of drones to survey large sections of river, using image recognition technology to pick out invasive weeds on riverbanks.

Each year, our teams experience and knowledge continues to grow, whilst the coverage of invasive species continues to reduce.

Ryan Plant - Project Manager

Our RSC team compare GIS data with the season's new growth

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Employee checking the river