Past Plants, Future Flora

With Heritage Lottery and Environment Agency funding we are celebrating the history of botanical discovery, introduction and plant use and encouraging people to learn and appreciate this natural heritage.  We also highlight that some invasive non-native species are threatening our native plants and habitats and, involving local landowners and volunteers, we are controlling these species and helping to restore habitats for native flora.

Education

With an variety of public events planned, the creation of educational resources and an education service for schools, we are helping local people of all ages engage with nature and learn about native and non-native plant species.

We are going into schools and encouraging the use of the natural world as an outside classroom and helping schools improve their outside environments.

We are celebrating the adventures and discoveries made by the plant hunters of old and are inviting people of all ages to learn about this history and appreciate our cultural link to plants.

Using a variety of methods we are highlighting the importance of and undertaking invasive plant control. We are promoting good bio-security practices across the catchment and training relevant user groups in bio-security principles, plant identification and recording.

Invasive Non-native Plant Control

With Environment Agency funding and as part of their Water Framework Directive targets, MVCP currently control five species of detrimental and invasive non-native plant species across the Medway catchment.

Invasive non-native plants can reduce habitat availability for native species, reduce biodiversity, cause riverbank erosion, increased siltation and flood risk, cause physical harm and damage infrastructure and recreation.

We are currently controlling giant hogweed, floating pennywort, water fern, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam with a variety of methods.  All species are recorded and we are working on a Living Record platform by which to analyse and highlight this data.

For more information on our invasive plant control work, please download our latest newsletter.

Volunteering

Local River Warden volunteers and landowners are actively getting involved in surveying, monitoring and habitat restoration – to protect our natural heritage into the future.  Volunteers collect litter, report issues and help us monitor local habitats and green spaces for the benefit of all.

We are providing opportunities for students to undertake vital research into habitat restoration methods and providing opportunities for volunteers and local people to gain field skills and accredited training in Countryside Management skills

 

Surveying

Via our volunteers, contractors and colleagues we are collecting more data on invasive plants and improving the way this data is displayed and used.  Please see our local team page on the online recording platform Living Record for more information and to see recent records of invasive plants species across the Medway Catchment.

Habitat Restoration

Following non-native invasive plant control we are working with landowners and sowing native seeds, planting plugs and re-establishing riverbanks in order to boost native plants and assist in their recovery.

Rather than a monoculture of Himalayan balsam or bank to bank water fern we are striving for a return to bio-diverse riverbanks and water bodies with a mixture of vegetation.   This work simultaneously protects riverbanks from erosion and enhances biodiversity.

 

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