|American Skunk Cabbage becoming increasingly dominant.|
|Another stand of Skunk Cabbage on the island.|
The invasive American skunk cabbage at Elterwater, particularly on the island, has become even more widespread.
In spite of the efforts of two of the Central and East Lakes Rangers last year, it is still spreading, and threatening to overwhelm the reed beds and native plants in this SSSI designated area.
Digging out the smaller cabbages and destroying the seed pods of older specimens is not sufficient to control the spread of skunk cabbage. (see Blog on..... Elterwater's Biodiversity under Threat?)
|A canoe, kindly lent by James Archer..Area Ranger based at St. Catherine's, was the ideal means to transport the chemicals and equipment to the island.|
Spraying the skunk cabbage is probably the only realistic means of getting the situation under some control. Jen Aldous from South Cumbria's Rivers Trust, and three Central and East Lakes Rangers combined forces to deal with the skunk cabbage.
|For once, the weather was good, and the job could go ahead.|
|Jen, busy mixing and measuring the chemicals to be used in the sprayers. James is assembling a sprayer in the background.|
|A close up of the spray in action.|
|James taking on a skunk cabbage. Many fallen trees and low branches made access very difficult, especially wearing bulky, heavy back pack sprayers.|
|Jen in the midst of a fairly big stand of skunk cabbage.|
|Had to include an image of Godzilla from last year. The size 10 chain saw boot looks tiny and indicates how large this skunk cabbage is.|
With Thanks to Jen Aldous, Invasive Non Native Species Officer...South Cumbria Rivers Trust..., for all her invaluable help in tackling the major infestation of skunk cabbage at Elterwater. Please see link to South Cumbria Rivers Trust web page.
American Skunk Cabbage is still a popular garden plant. Unfortunately it readily escapes into the countryside causing major harm to eco systems especially in the vicinity of rivers and lakes. Elterwater is just one of the fragile eco systems in the UK being adversely affected by the rapid spread of this plant.