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Monday, May 27, 2013

Public asked to help tackle alien invaders in the Dee

* Himalayan balsam may look pretty but it can
cause havoc on river banks, out-competing native
vegetation and dying back over
winter leaving banks open to erosion.
 Organisations across North Wales and Cheshire are appealing for volunteers to help eradicate non-native species from the River Dee and its tributaries. 

Preparations are now gathering pace for Big Dee Day – the Invasion – which takes place on 28 and 29 June and follows on from the success of the annual Big Dee Day river clean-up.

This is the first ever coordinated event to tackle invasive non-native plants and animals, such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and Chinese mitten crab.

A Denbighshire County Council spokesperson said: "It is open to everyone across the area – and we need your help to tackle our alien invaders right across the Dee catchment, from the river’s source in Snowdonia National Park right through Cheshire to its estuary in Liverpool Bay.

"These alien species are brought to the UK either accidentally or intentionally and can cause big problems for our native wildlife, as well as having other effects such as making river banks more prone to erosion, which can lead to flooding."

Local authority Countryside Services, Snowdonia National Park Authority, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural Resources Wales, Wildlife Trusts, the Welsh Dee Trust, Cofnod, Record and Chester Zoo are among the many organisations involved in organising this major event.

Councillor Carolyn Thomas, Chairman of Flintshire County Council and Chairman of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, said: “This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for everyone to pull on their wellies and make a huge difference to our local environment. This is about direct action, on both sides of the border, and we are encouraging members of the public and voluntary groups to get stuck in with balsam bashing! We also need people to spy on the alien invaders and record their locations. Please keep 28 and 29 June in your diary and register your interest at or contact your local biodiversity officer.”

Big Dee Day – The Invasion also has a Facebook page –

Local biodiversity officers are listed below:





Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Lyn Byrne

07971 052162


Lizzy Webster

01824 708263


Amy Green

01352 703263

Snowdonia National Park

Gethin Davies

01766 772515


Emma Broad

01978 298762


Adam Daniel


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