Summer reed cutting is essential, says waterways expert

The Rothen Group, an independent civil engineering and maintenance business servicing UK waterways, has issued a warning to raise awareness of the dangers of overgrown weeds choking the waterways this summer.

Charlotte Lea, Ecologist for The Rothen Group, explained: “The extended period of hot weather we are experiencing in the UK this summer is undoubtedly contributing to an increase in reed and invasive plants species growth, such as floating pennywort.

She continued: “It is important that appropriate reed cutting measures are taken to ensure that invasive species do not destroy native water plants, kill fish and choke drainage systems. Summer reed cutting is essential in order to prevent excessive growth on public canals and waterways. Landowners with private moorings and side ponds must also monitor growth carefully and seek help to remove overgrown reeds.

With the right plant and equipment, reed cutting is a straightforward procedure and will also not harm local wildlife. She explained: “It is a misconception that removing overgrown vegetation will kill wildlife and destroy natural habitats. Problems are actually more likely to occur if the water is left untreated and becomes choked. You need to find a balance and create a mosaic of habitats.

She concluded: “Our reed cutting equipment is designed with the environment in mind and special features allow for living creatures, such as invertebrates, to be released back into the water. Once the job is complete, a healthy margin of vegetation is left around the margins, and customers are advised on how to best maintain the area afterwards.”