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Home » Looking After » Conservation Land Management » Invasive non-native species » Stitch in Time

Stitch in Time

The Stitch in Time project aims to target invasive non-native species (INNS), namely Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and rhododendron, which are all known to be present in the Gwaun Valley.

They also feature among the priorities for action in the Pembrokeshire INNS Grouped Species Action Plan.

The project is funded by the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), which is administered by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Getting to the root of the problem: Non-native rhododendron is cleared from the steep-sided Trecwn Valley as part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Stitch in Time project.
Getting to the root of the problem: Non-native rhododendron is cleared from the steep-sided Trecwn Valley as part of the Stitch in Time project.

INNS can out-compete native UK species; physically change ecosystems and damage property. Some, like giant hogweed, can be extremely harmful to human health.

Piecemeal treatment of INNS rarely addresses sources of infection, which implies that treatment will need to continue indefinitely. Treatment is not cheap - the cost of managing INNS has been put at £1.7 billion per year in the UK - so prevention is better than cure.

As many invasive species spread along water-courses, a joined-up, catchment-based response to control, and subsequent defence of the catchment, would seem to be a cost-effective approach.

The project, which is being managed by the National Park Authority, will test just such an approach in the Gwaun Valley.

A central aim of the project is to increase awareness among organisations, individuals and communities about INNS and to build capacity in local communities to monitor and manage them and any re-infestation.

The project will apply learning from other initiatives, including the recent Cemaes Himalayan Balsam Eradication Projects, also funded by the Sustainable Development Fund.

Related documents:
Himalayan balsam: What’s the problem and how do we tackle it?
Stitch in Time End of Project Report August 2016