Cleggan village has started a campaign to eliminate two invasive plants – Gunnera (giant rhubarb) and Japanese knotweed. The Tidy Towns committee worked with Elaine O’Riordan, the Galway County Council Biodiversity Project Manager, to first map the locations of both gunnera and knotweed in the village and surrounding area from Bundouglas to Rossadillask. There are several sites with significant infestations. Many of the problem areas are on private land but most land owners are very supportive and keen to be involved.
The County Council has agreed to treat Gunnera and knotweed on public land. An initial four public areas including the Cleggan beach area, next to Lough Anillaun and an area along a planned walk route were prioritised for treatment by the County Council.
The treatment will be in two phases. In late May, the Gunnera seed heads were removed and safely disposed of by Galway County Council. In total 160 sacks of seed heads were removed by land owners supported by volunteers. It is estimated over 90% of all the Gunnera plants in the area had their seed heads removed. This should result in controlling the Gunnera problem and preventing it spreading. In late summer both the Gunnera and knotweed will be treated with herbicides to kill the plants. Detailed advice will be available locally in August to describe how best to treat both knotweed and Gunnera. If you live in the Cleggan area and have Gunnera or knotweed on your land please get involved.
Cleggan Tidy Towns would like to thank the volunteers, landowners, FAS Team and Galway County Council for all their efforts. We have made a great start and if we continue working together we will eliminate these plants in our area.