AN IMPORTED plant which is killing fauna and flora in our waterways is in the sights of a body which aims to protect our rivers.
The Don Catchment Rivers Trust — which looks after the Rivers Don, Dearne and Rother – wants to stem the spread of the Floating Pennywort.
The species was imported into to the UK in the 1980s as an ornamental pond plant but now dense clumps on waterways are impeding boat navigation, disrupting angling, deoxygenating water and blocking out light for species below the surface.
The Floating Pennywort can grow up to 20 centimetres a day, spreading quickly.
Now the Trust wants people to report sightings of the plant so it can be tackled.
Karen Eynon, project officer for the Don Catchment Rivers Trust, said that people should get in touch if they spot the plant either by emailing email@example.com, downloading the planttracker app and reporting it via that or going to the website http://planttracker.naturelocator.org/
People can also report sightings of the plant to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs Eynon said: “The situation in the Don isn’t too terrible. We did have some in the Fitzwilliam Canal, in Rotherham, and at a very few other sites but these have been treated and we haven’t heard any more.
“Our best eyes and ears are the fishing community.”
Information on identifying the plant can be found at www.nonnativespecies.org