Nature Conservation Task Details
On Sunday 4 August 2019, LBCV will be doing invasive species management on Walthamstow Marshes(SSSI). We will be removing Goldenrod from the South Marsh. Meet at the Waterworks Centre, Lemmas Road from 9:30am – 10am.
This is not a repeat of the June/May task when we removed goat’s rue and did scrape management.
Walthamstow Marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI, pronounced “triple S, I”) declared under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. Covering 55.4 Hectares (136.9 acres), it is part of a Green Flag Awarded Nature Reserve that also includes Coppermill Fields and Leyton Marsh. This Nature Reserve is a remnant of London’s once widespread river valley grasslands and is especially important for its plant and insect life containing a national rarity in creeping marshwort along with long-stalked orache, black poplar, brookweed, penny-royal, water vole, bats; soldier-flies, snail-killing flies, orthoptera, reed bunting, linnet and song thrush. The marshes are former Lammas lands, in that commoners had rights to graze there from 12 August to 6 April.
The aim of the task is to help keep the Marshes free from invasive species.
The native Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) is known as woundwort, woundweed and Aaron’s rod.
The non-native Goldenrods (Solidago canadensis, Solidago gigantea) also known as Canadian goldenrod and early goldenrod are species native to North America and have been cultivated as ornamental plants in the UK since 1648.
The species were first recorded in the wild in 1849 and 1916 and have the ability to spread very quickly, becoming widespread in England and Scotland by the 1930’s, quickly out competing native plants in sensitive habitats such grasslands, meadows and alongside riverbanks. Dense infestations along waterways can impede flow and increase flood risk and erosion. Goldenrod can spread by wind-bone seed and via rhizome resulting in large monocultures, with each adult plant capable of releasing up to 10,000 tiny seeds which are easily dispersed by the wind. Finally, their roots also produce a group of chemicals that can inhibit the growth of other plants that surround them, a process called allelopathy.
The recent wet weather will make our task of pulling as much rhizome as possible a little easier.
The Model T Ford was equipped with tyres made from rubber produced from goldenrod plants. Thomas Edison was able to produce a variety of goldenrod that was 12% rubber compared to 7%.
Why remove ? Walthamstow Marshes are under Higher Level Stewardship in that they are being grazed by traditional bred cattle, Belted Galloways.
Everybody is welcome to volunteer with LBCV. No experience is required. LBCV will provide tools, training, gloves, tea, coffee and biscuits. Please bring some lunch.
Please wear sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the work and weather. The task is in long grass and will be in the same enclosure as the cattle. We can provide wellingtons in the morning but you must clean and return them to the Waterworks Centre, after the task. So please arrive in plenty of time to select your pair.
Please arrive from 9:30am – 10am at the Waterworks Centre Lammas Road, off Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QT, for a 10am departure to the tools storage area. The meeting place is the former golf centre across from the former Greyhound Public House on Lea Bridge Road. We will leave at 10:15am for a walk to the task site. Volunteers are welcome to meet us on site, before the tools talk, please text 07757 766950, before 9am on Sunday, so we can provide enough tools and gloves.
Please lock bicycles to the stands in front of the Waterworks Centre. There is ample free car parking there too. Dogs are not allowed on the Nature Reserve so please do not cross the bridge with dogs or ride bicycles in the nature reserve. Dogs are welcome on some tasks, but not this one as we will be working close to the cattle.
We should be finished by 3:30pm.
Future LBCV Tasks – Complete Programme 2019-2020
All conservation tasks are the first Sunday of each month
September Waterworks Nature Reserve reed bed management
October Walthamstow Marshes Scrub management/ Willow removal along ditches
November Walthamstow Marshes Scrub management/ Willow removal along ditches
December Walthamstow Marshes pollarding Horseshoe thicket
January Waterworks Nature Reserve reptile and scrub management
February Rammey Marshes Scrub management
March Walthamstow Marshes Bramble bashing
Doing a conservation task with LBCV is great way to meet new people, learn new skills, use old skills, be more active, get closer to nature, make a difference and have some fun with likeminded people.