New assault on weed

Last updated 12:00 07/04/2014

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Horizons Regional Council and tourist operator River Valley are joining forces to stop the old man's beard weed from getting a foothold in the upper Rangitikei River area.

Horizons environmental management officer for plants Malinda Matthewson said the council conducted an annual aerial search and destroy operation to find and control old man's beard in the river corridor up from Mokai Bridge.

"Last season Brian Megaw, owner of River Valley, pointed out some sites Horizons hadn't seen the previous year and this meant those sites could be controlled before they flowered and set seed.

"Brian and his crew are also controlling any old man's beard they come across on walking tracks and river margins."

Horizons has supplied some chemicals but most of the work was being funded by River Valley, she said.

"With continued vigilance from Horizons, River Valley and other river users, it is hoped people using the river will not have the magnificent scenery smothered by old man's beard."

Megaw said the river was everyone's responsibility.

"The loss of biodiversity in those areas that had been smothered by old man's beard is a real long-term concern."

Details about how to remove the weed can be found on the Horizons website or by calling the council on 0508 800 800.

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- Manawatu Standard

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