Posted: Sat 2nd Dec 2023

Flintshire’s Coastal Rangers conquer invasive ‘Traveller’s Joy’ in Talacre dunes

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Dec 2nd, 2023

In a significant conservation effort, Flintshire’s Coastal Ranger team has been working to control the spread of an invasive species, Clematis Vitalba, in Talacre’s dune system.

This initiative, in partnership with landowners ENI and Bourne Leisure, marks a crucial step in preserving the ecological integrity of Flintshire’s primary tourist destination.

The team has been collaborating with the landowners for over two decades.

In recent years, their focus has shifted to addressing the challenge posed by Clematis Vitalba also known as Traveller’s Joy.

This invasive plant, known for overshadowing and outcompeting native plant species, has been a persistent problem in the dunes.

After eight years of concerted efforts, the team, along with partner site-based rangers, can finally announce that every stand of Clematis Vitalba across the fifty-plus hectare dune system has been treated.

This achievement comes after systematically working from west to east through the dunes, targeting the invasive plant year after year.

Various methods have been employed to combat the Clematis.

Initially, rangers led groups of college students to cut and pull the larger stands.

However, after setting up trial plots in 2017, it was discovered that the most effective eradication method was the use of a herbicide treatment.

This treatment is applied using a spot method, allowing the teams to target the Clematis without harming the wider dune system.

Councillor David Healey, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Economy, praised the effort: “The work done so far has been incredible. The dune system is the only one in Flintshire, so it is vital we work to protect it. The countryside team will continue the works to make sure any stands that haven’t died will get follow-up treatment, and monitoring will continue for new stands.”

He also extended gratitude to the Heritage Lottery Fund for contributing to this task through the Our Dee Estuary Tidal Dee Catchment Partnership project.

This project is designed to inspire coastal communities about the natural heritage of the Dee Estuary.

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