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19 Aug 2022

Calls for Carndonagh community to get active against invasive species

Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam seen as the biggest threats to local biodiversity

Calls for Carndonagh community to get active against invasive species

Trish Murphy, left, from Inishowen River’s Trust along with Eco Carn volunteers at the “Balsam bashing” event along the Donagh River

The Eco Carn Network and the Inishowen River’s Trust is calling on members of the public to join in as they increase their efforts to combat invasive species in the Carndonagh area.
Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and winter heliotrope have been identified as the
most problematic invasive species in Carndonagh, following a comprehensive audit by the Eco Carn Network after its’ formation in 2019.
Eco Carn, which is a collaborative network of community organisations, including Spraoi Spraoi agus Spórt, Donegal County Council, Carndonagh Community School, Barrack Hill Community Garden, Scouts, and others, is supported by Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) and Inishowen River’s Trust (IRT), which was awarded the contract to work with Eco Carn.
Last month, the IRT and Eco Carn ran a public workshop to share information on the plans with the wider public and a “Balsam bashing” event which concentrated on the Himalayan balsam along the Donagh River.
The next workshop, which will be held at the IDP office in Carnongah in the coming weeks, will focus on natural solutions for dealing with Japanese Knotweed. All concerned members of the public are welcome, in particular, landowners who may have invasives on their land.

A spokesperson for the Eco Carn network said one of their key objectives is to try and tackle the problem with invasives around Carndongah using natural-based solutions.
Trish Murphy of Inishowen River’s Trust, said the species, particularly Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam, are considered to be the greatest threats to our native biodiversity.
“Both species occur widely in the Carndonagh area, particularly on and close to waterways which facilitates easy transfer of the plants,” she said.
A number of actions have already been delivered, with additional funding being secured from the Community Foundation of Ireland. However, IRT and Eco Carn plan to develop the plan even further by developing signage, information points and QR codes at key sites.
“This project aims to reduce the impact of these species on our biodiversity by creating awareness in the local community of local habitats and the impacts of invasive species on local ecology,” added Denise McCool, of IDP, which is supporting the rollout of the project.
“With the help and guidance of IRT we are taking a collaborative approach to tackling the issue of invasives through workshops that identify sustainable solutions and support behavioural change; reducing the use of pesticides through awareness raising and highlighting the impacts on our health, drinking water and air quality; and reducing the
quantity of invasive species in the area,” she said.
People who find invasives locally around Carndongah are encouraged to submit the records online via the Inishowen Rivers Trust website on www.inishowenriverstrust.com/invasive-alien-plants.

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