Northern Ireland's Minister for the Environment, Minister, Mark H Durkan MLA, recently visited one of TCV’s invasive species control projects and viewed various sites in the Newtownstewart area.
Invasive non-native species are an increasing problem and can cause damage to property and wildlife.
Along riverbanks, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed are particular problems with seeds or fragments of plant being carried along the river and establishing in other areas.
Once established, the plants spread quickly excluding other plants and wildlife and eventually making the river banks less stable and more prone to erosion.
Minister Durkan met TCV volunteers and staff and was shown areas of Japanese knotweed along the banks of the River Mourne, which TCV has begun to treat.
The Minister was impressed by the extent of the Japanese knotweed problem and was shown some of the equipment used to apply herbicide to the plants as part of the control process.