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Practical training seminars to combat dangerous invasive plant

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JAPANESE Knotweed and other invasive species continue to create problems for communities in County Clare.

They can have a devastating impact on biodiversity, environmental health, and community well-being, and they hamper our efforts to slow the pace of climate change.

To help counter its effect, the Clare Local Development Company is conducting practical training seminars in a number of locations in the county.

This practical training is for all interested residents living in or near Connolly, Doolin, Lisdoonvarna, Miltown Malbay, and Mountshannon.

At the seminar you will learn:
How to identify Japanese knotweed and Himalayan knotweed.
How to assess the severity of an infestation and to work out the best method of control.
What biosecurity means and how to avoid introduction and dispersal of invasive species.
Legislation you must comply with.
How to use herbicide safely without causing undue harm to yourself and the environment.

You will be the first to see CLDC’s mobile invasive species control unit, which is available for all communities to use.

Trainers Fran Giaquinto and Nicholas Head will be conducting the seminars.

Ms Giaquinto has specialised in invasive species control for the last 12 years.

She was awarded Chartered Environmentalist status in January 2020 in recognition of her approach to clearing giant hogweed without the use of herbicides.

She is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecological and Environmental Management. She works closely with Mr Head, developing methods of invasive species control that minimise environmental harm.

Mr Head, trading as Knotweed Ireland Services, is an invasive species contractor with a difference. By closely recording what happens to Japanese knotweed when it is treated with herbicide, he has developed a method that minimises the dose required, maximises its effectiveness, minimises the harm it causes to the environment, and ensures safety for the operator.

He is widely sought after across Ireland, working for Councils, HSE Estates, private landowners, and community groups.

Dates for the seminars which run from 10 am to 3 pm are as follows: Connolly (July 5), Doolin (July 6), Lisdoonvarna (July 7), Miltown Malbay (July 12), and Mountshannon (July 13).

Enquiries to gmcdonagh@cldc.ie.

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