Avon War on Bridal Creeper

14 June 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridal Creeper, regarded as one of the 20 worst weeds in Australia, is the target of an Avon Catchment Council (ACC) project that commenced recently working with Avon River Basin communities to map Bridal Creeper infestations and then together deciding the best method to control the weed locally and regionally. Because of Bridal Creeper invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impact, the ACC are asking local community groups, local governments and individuals to report patches of Bridal Creeper in their local area, so this information can be collated into a regional database. The problem with Bridal Creeper is that it is hard to eradicate as it can produce more than 1000 berries per square metre that are attractive to birds and other animals that then spread them to other locations. Bridal Creeper also has a tuberous root system that survives underground even after the leaves are removed. The weed is devastating to native plants as it has climbing stems and foliage that smother any surrounding vegetation, and the roots form a thick mat of underground tubers which impedes the root growth of other plants and often prevents seedling establishment. It also is a serious issue in waterways of the Avon. Bridal Creeper entered the country as an attractive garden plant and many infestations are still initiated from gardens and garden waste, the ACC would like people to notify them even if plants occur in gardens. Investment from the Australian and Western Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust program has enabled the ACC to provide technical and financial support to communities to enable them to address this devastating weed. “Currently the largest areas of Bridal Creeper are in the western Avon River Basin due to higher rainfall, but infestations have been found east of Merredin and as far south as Lake Grace which is why we need a concerted effort from the community to combat this nationally declared weed in the region”, ACC Project Manager Rebecca Palumbo said. Once Bridal Creeper infestation locations are known, the next step will be to identify priority outbreaks of Bridal Creeper and work with those communities to develop management plans and implement best practice control methods to address the weed. To report Bridal Creeper locations in your area or for further information on this ACC project, please contact Rebecca Palumbo on 9690 2265. Media Contact: Rochelle Pyle, Marketing & Communications Manager, Ph: (08) 9690 2250