John recently started a new LinkedIn discussion regarding the use of herbicide against non-native aquatic plant species. Here’s what he wrote.
“Over the last 10 years most approved aquatic herbicides have been removed from the market. Now it would seem that Glyphosate is the next target to come into the sights of the EU legislators. I suspect that all environmentally conscious people would prefer not to be introducing chemicals into the environment unnecessarily. However, the potential loss of Glyphosate, which in the form of Roundup Pro Bio is deemed to be one of the safest products for use in or near water, would present us with real challenges, not the least being the control of non-native species such as Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Floating Pennywort to name but a few.
As a responsible company working in the field of water management and maintenance, Kingcombe Aquacare is keen to find alternative procedures if they exist, but for some of these pernicious plants, which are destroying our native habitat, often in SSSIs, spraying with Glyphosate is the only commercially viable means of control.
I would be interested to know where other Chartered Environmentalists stand on this issue, and whether there are alternative non-native invasive weed control strategies that are commercially viable and successful. Indeed, I would be keen to know where the Institute stands on this issue!”
The ramifications of potentially losing the last remaining effective herbicide are huge and will spark many discussions of how best to control infestations of these non-native plants
An example of success achieved by good design, strong partnership working and experienced installation teams.
We have recently completed another eel pass and fish baffle installation for the Environment Agency, this time in Frampton Cotterell, on the Bristol Frome in Gloucestershire.
Working very closely with the Environment Agency project manager, Gareth Varney, and Fisheries Officer Jody Armitage, we installed one of our jointly designed cassette type eel and elver pass systems on an existing weir, to help improve eel migration. The recycled plastic fish baffles were installed on the concrete weir face to improve the ease of passage for trout and coarse fish. Both systems were designed to minimise the impact on flow measurement accuracy of the weir and on flood warning capability.
Water level was higher than expected so conditions were challenging but not insurmountable. Our site team were able to manage the water effectively by deploying sand bags and flow deflectors to divert it away from the works area. This facilitated the installation of fish baffles and the eel pass, while maintaining constant water flow downstream.
Our work was completed safely, on time and to budget. Gareth Varney, Environment Agency Hydrometry & Telemetry Programme Manager commented;
“We are delighted with the new eel pass installed by the Kingcombe team. They were able to complete the installation under challenging conditions but despite this the end product is perfect. It has not compromised the operation of our existing weir and has hopefully improved migration of fish further up the Frome catchment and should be another positive step in the right direction in the battle to reverse the decline in the European Eel population”