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Have fun fighting the monster bush that’s invaded Fermanagh

plant

Rhododendron in the Culliaghs at Crom. Introduced to the estate in the 1860s, the exotic plant is now a major problem at Crom.

NEW Year is a great time to get outdoors and banish the Christmas cobwebs, and what better way to do just that than by joining in the ongoing battle against a monster plant that’s invaded the county.
On Saturday, January 6, there will be a “New Year Rhody Bash and Burn” at the Crom Estate from 10am-3.30pm. With tools and training provided by rangers from the National Trust, who will be keeping everyone safe, the day will be will spent “bashing and burning” the monster “Rhododendron ponticum” bush, which has invaded woodland on the estate.
This type of rhododendron bush at first glance looks pretty and innocuous. In reality, though, it’s a menace to the local environment and, with its millions of dust-like seeds, a nightmare to clear from an area.
“In years gone by, the height of fashion for large estates was to import exotic plants and trees from around the world to display within their grounds and gardens,” said Matthew Scott, conservation ranger at National Trust Fermanagh. “Unfortunately when removed from their native environment, a number of these species went on the rampage.”
Mr Scott said this type of rhododendron, introduced to Crom in the 1860s, spread easily through native woodlands, blocking light from native plants on the woodland floor.
“We have been chipping away at tackling the problem, but our event seeks to make a real dent on the spread of this invasive, giving the other rhododendron shrubs and native ground flora more of a chance to flourish,” said Mr Scott.  Those attending the New Year Rhody Bash and Burn are asked to bring a packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided, and the day will end by toasting marshmallows on the fire. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/crom.


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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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