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Media Release

Invasive species week 2022

Invasive species week 2022

Monday 16 May 2022

Invasive species week 2022


MEDIA RELEASE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Bailiwick Express, and the text is reproduced exactly as supplied to us

Sour Fig work parties at Fort Le Marchant at 10am on Wednesday 18th May and a BIG FIG PULL at Albecq at 10am on Saturday 21st May

Invasive Species Week is an annual national event to raise awareness of the impacts of invasive non-native species. Invasive Species Week 2022 runs from 16th – 22nd May.

The Guernsey Conservation Volunteers have been removing invasive non-native plant species for many years around Guernsey. These plants include Sour Fig, Cape Ivy, New Zealand Wire Plant, Three-cornered Garlic (Stinking Onions) and Winter Heliotrope.

During Invasive Species Week 2022, GCV has organised two work parties that members of the public (aged 16 and over) can attend. The first is at 10am on Wednesday 18th May at Fort Le Marchant where Sour Fig will be removed from the headland. GCV started working at Fort Le Marchant in February 2022 and removed 5 skips of Sour Fig.

The second event will be a BIG FIG PULL at Albecq at 10am on Saturday 21st May. Sour Fig will be removed from the seaward side of the coast road. This is the first BIG FIG PULL at Albecq and it involves closing the coast road to ensure the safety of volunteers taking part in the event. GCV apologises for any inconvenience caused to members of the public by the road closure. GCV would like to thank Castel Douzaine for supporting this event, in particular Rhiannon Cook who helped to organise this BIG FIG PULL.

Sour Fig has been in Guernsey since the 1880’s, it was brought into the island as a garden plant from South Africa. It then escaped from gardens into the wild and spread. Sour Fig was previously killed by heavy frost but harsh winters are now scarce which has enabled the plant to spread. Sour Fig is mainly found around the coast and it spreads across coastal grassland forming a dense mat. It outcompetes all native species and reduces biodiversity wherever it grows. When Sour Fig is removed, the native coastal plants return. These plants can include Thrift, Sea Beet, Sea Campion, Sheep’s-bit and Rock Sea-spurrey.

For Invasive Species Week 2021, GCV organised a BIG FIG PULL at Portinfer and 5 skips of invasive Sour Fig were filled in under 2 hours. The land at Portinfer is now filled with more than 40 different species of coastal plants. These plants will provide food and shelter for many insects and small mammals. The insects will provide food for birds.

For more information on the events this week, take a look at www.gcv.org.uk or find details on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter).

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