Council calls for English Ivy spotters

8 March, 2012Posted in: Environment

Wingecarribee Shire Council is asking residents to keep an eye out for one of the Shire’s most unwanted residents – English Ivy. And like most unwanted guests, English Ivy is proving very difficult to remove.

“English Ivy is one of the more invasive weeds in the Shire and like many of our weeds, was introduced by early settlers,” said Council’s Natural Resources Officer, Paul Marshall.

English Ivy (Hedera helix) is classed as an environmental weed and thrives in our Shire’s ideal growing conditions. It is both a vigorous climber and dense groundcover, which if left unchecked can become dominant.

To help control the weed Council is asking residents to help identify hotspots of English Ivy.

Information gathered will be added to already known areas of infestation and used to create a database which staff will use to prioritise remediation works. Priority will be allocated to Endangered Ecological Communities and riparian vegetation areas.

While Council can only undertake Ivy control works on Council-controlled land, private landholders are encouraged to work with their neighbors to eradicate Ivy on their own land, especially where it is climbing up trees or other structures.

“With its vigorous growth, English Ivy competes with native plants. This can have a devastating impact upon the habitat of native fauna as it reduces the variety of food sources available.

“The Ivy also produces berries which are attractive to birds, foxes and other animals. The seeds can then be easily distributed which makes keeping a tab on its spread extremely difficult,” Mr Marshall said.

Residents wanting further information on how to manage, curb and properly dispose of English Ivy and replacing it with sustainable native alternatives are urged to download the Ivy control brochure from Council’s website, or contact Council’s Natural Resources Community Support Officer on phone 4868 0772.

“Council encourages all residents to dispose of English Ivy correctly. This can be done via thorough composting or by taking the weed to Council’s Resource Recovery Centre,” Mr Marshall said.

“Illegal dumping of the weed only exacerbates the problem. But having residents notify us of hotspots will help us plan our future management of this particularly invasive weed.”

Information for the database is being sought by 14 April 2012. The English Ivy database and weed management control program is made possible through the Environment Levy.