Issues affecting RTW volunteer tasks in 2014
The high and fast river flows in the early part of the year, plus the Hughenden Stream pollution problem prevented any volunteer tasks taking place until July.
Indian Balsam clearance
Indian Balsam clearance this year has been restricted to dealing with a small number of plants that appeared by the Council Offices, alongside London Road and at King’s Mead, together with a huge number of plants seen alongside the Biffa premises east of King’s Mead. All of this work was undertaken by two of the work party leaders because of the difficult working conditions.
Pizza Hut task
The area outside Pizza Hut is now very overgrown and there has been preliminary work on the riverbank to assess the scope of the vegetation clearance work required there.
RTW volunteer tasks
Following an email to those on the RTW volunteer list seeking expressions of interest, a team of RTW volunteers undertook a task along the riverbank on the north side of the Rye to selectively remove some of the tall vegetation which was obscuring the views of the river. Most of the plants removed were clustered dock, which had come up in vast numbers following the bank improvements undertaken last year. A section towards the west end of the riverbank was left untouched to monitor the benefits of the work undertaken. One unexpected surprise was finding three Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca) plants. This species is uncommon in our area; and it is not known how it got there.
BNU have offered a team of up to 20 students to help with a RTW task, and later in September some selective vegetation clearance is to be undertaken along the river banks as an alternative to the planned tractor and flail clearance along the whole length of the stream within the WDC section of the Park.