What everyone is saying about pond weeds
19th August 2013
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Residents have teamed up with volunteers from the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership this summer to tackle invasive pond weed at Maidenbower Ponds. With help from Maidenbower Councillor Duncan Peck, the group got to work on August 7 to remove Parrotâs Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) from the pond. The non-native aquatic perennial plant can quickly dominate slow moving or static, nutrient rich, waters, creating dense floating carpets of vegetation which block the sunlight and drastically reduces oxygen in the water. The affect can be devastating, making it very difficult for other plants and animals to survive underneath it and therefore destroying the pondâs natural eco-system; a high tannin content in the plant means itâs not eaten by any UK Fish species and so has no known natural enemy. With help from Crawley Borough Council, the team has been removing the weed by hand to try to restore the Ponds back to their natural state and increase the bio-diversity. Weed piles from the clean-up will be burnt when dry and the work will need to be carried out each year to keep the pond healthy. Remaining re-growth will be treated periodically with a safe, water-based herbicide which does not affect water quality or aquatic life. Two more clean-up days are planned, this Wednesday (21 August) and Thursday 12 September, and Gatwick Greenspace and Crawley Borough Council are calling on local residents to get involved and help keep the ponds healthy for everyone to enjoy. If you want help out and own a pair of wellies or waders, meet at Maidenbower Ponds, Billinton Drive, at 9.45am. The event ends at 3pm but volunteers are not expected to stay all day and any help is appreciated.

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