Mayo islanders renew fight against invasive species

A FRESH drive is underway to tackle the growing problem of invasive plants on Achill Island.

A number of landowners have started spraying lands to rid them of Japanese knotweed and giant wild rhubarb known as gunnera.

But funds are required to purchase the herbicides after the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht indicated it did not have an allocation for such expenditure. Consequently, all donations will be glady accepted by the Sraheens/Kildownet campaign to control and eradicate invasive species.

Further information is available from Thomas at (087) 6184344. In the meantime, spraying of gunerra goes ahead in Shraheens on Saturday, July 11.

A spokesperson for the group said: 'We are urgently looking for contributions towards cost of the herbicides. We encourage all landowners to respond positively in order to make this campaign successful so that it can be used as a template in other villages in Achill.'

Research carried out by UCD scientists on gunnera showed that spraying late in the growing season (August/September) when the plants are fully grown gives the best results.