May volunteer activity

HWDSunday 10th May 2015 – St Peter’s Valley, St Peter – 10:30 – 13.00

From Jersey Conservation Volunteers

The details Help us “Liberate” our wildflower meadows from a toxic weed on our last task for the summer (Get it?? Day after liberation day??)

Hemlock water dropwort Oenanthe crocata is trying to take over the wet meadow in St Peter’s Valley, next to the mill pond, so the task will be to cut and remove as much of this as we can, before it swamps the grasses and wildflowers. We hit it hard last year, on one of our tasks, and you can really see the difference, the regrowth is so much smaller. However, if we don’t cut it again this year, it will return to its former strength quickly.

Hemlock water dropwort is a wet meadow specialist, with delicate, white, frothy flowers, that are a favourite with hoverflies and other insects, and can grow to 4-5 feet high. Whilst it is a pretty plant, it is highly poisonous, so we need to try and remove them from this meadow before it can be grazed this summer.

The site St Peter’s Valley

Parking The meeting point will be in the mill pond car park, just past the Victoria Pub, on La Vallée de Saint-Pierre (St Peter’s Valley). Please arrive by 10.15am, for a 10.30am prompt start. There are some parking spaces in this car park; however, more parking is available at La Moulin de Quetivel, or in the pub car park.

The task Our job will be to cut the water dropwort foliage down,

Tools needed We will cut foliage down, to weaken it, rather than pulling it up by the roots, so please bring any sickles you may have, or other cutting implements. We will be able to provide some tools and gloves, but please bring your own if you have them to make sure we have enough to go around.

Clothing needed Please, please, please wear long sleeves, whatever the weather, and gloves; it will be wet underfoot, so wellies are a must.

Children All are welcome, young or old. Children under 16 must be supervised by an adult, and whilst are very welcome, please bear in mind that hemlock water dropwort is toxic, so it may not be the most child-friendly task.

And of course, no Jersey Conservation Volunteer task would be complete without the provision of tea & cake, courtesy of Kim.

One thought on “May volunteer activity

  1. Good to hear this Hemlock Water Dropwort control is being undertaken in Jersey. In Guernsey many years ago I was advised by Mike Smith, then Land Manager for La Societe Guernesiaise, that the last week in April was the best time for this work – when the plants were sufficiently large that cutting prevented effective regrowth/flowering, but before the plants had got so big that cutting them back was a daunting exercise. And after some years of controlling Hemlock Water Dropwort in my rented meadows I can confirm he was absolutely right! But go for it: this Jersey action will definitely be a case of ‘better late than never’

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