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Big Dee Day – The Invasion

Published: 02/06/2014

Organisations across North Wales and Cheshire are appealing for volunteers to help eradicate invasive non-native species from the River Dee and its tributaries. The Big Dee Day – The Invasion event is in its second year and tackles invasive non-native plants and animals, such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and Chinese mitten crab. The coordinated programme will begin with a public launch on Saturday 28 June at Ty Mawr Country Park in Cefn Mawr, Wrexham with various events running, from the river’s source in Snowdonia National Park right through to its estuary, until 31 July. The event is open to everyone across the region to help remove invasive non-native plants from the River Dee and its tributaries and to record infested areas. The species that will be tackled are alien species, brought to the UK either accidentally or intentionally, which can cause big problems for native wildlife, as well as having other effects such as making river banks more prone to erosion, which can lead to flooding. A partnership of Welsh and English organisations including five local authority Countryside Services, Snowdonia National Park Authority, DINNS Project, Keep Wales Tidy, the Welsh Dee Trust, the Dee Valley and Clwydian Range AONB, Chester Zoo, Record, Cofnod and Natural Resources Wales are involved in organising the event. Lyn Byrne, Dee Invasive Non-Native Species Project Officer said: “The Big Dee Day – The Invasion event is an exciting initiative that saw a great deal of involvement from local communities in 2013. This year we aim to make the event even bigger and better than before by including more people in more areas.” Councillor Bernie Attridge, Flintshire County Councils Cabinet Member for Environment Said: “This is a great opportunity for us all to make a really positive impact on the River Dee and our local environment. I’d encourage anyone who is interested to get involved and find out and go along to their nearest event and help out.” If you or your group would like to get stuck in with balsam bashing or knotweed whacking, or if you fancy spying on the alien invaders and recording their locations contact Sarah Slater at Flintshire County Council on 01352 703263 or for more information. For more information on the project contact Meryl Norris, DINNS project officer at North Wales Wildlife Trust on 01352 755472 or email Photo caption: Himalayan Balsam. Notes to editors The Big Dee Day – the Invasion is a sister event to the annual Big Dee Day river clean-up event. A calendar of events should be available in the next few weeks.