Floating pennywort is a fast-spreading plant that grows quickly to form thick mats which can impede water flow and amenity use. It can completely cut-out native species as it blocks out light, reduces oxygen, obstructs air-breathing insects and reduces water temperatures.
Essex & Suffolk Water has been working with a specialist contractor, Native Landscapes, for the past five years to remove floating pennywort from the Langham ponds, and it has now been completely eradicated on the site.
Alex Mueller, Conservation Advisor for Essex & Suffolk Water said: “A lot of hard work has gone into eradicating floating pennywort from the fishing ponds at Langham, so it’s great to see that this work has paid off.
“We were particularly determined to get it removed from these lakes due to their close proximity to the River Stour. This is great example of our commitment to halting the spread of invasive non-native species and protecting our native fauna and flora.”
Floating pennywort was found to have spread quickly on the Langham ponds and had started to affect fishing activity. It was important to remove it as quickly as possible, as it becomes harder to manage once it is established in a river, as the flow of water sends it further along the water.
Floating pennywort is most commonly found in the south east of England and occasionally in the north west of England and Wales. It was first naturalised in 1990 as a result of discarded plants from garden ponds. It can grow up to 20cm a day and can quickly dominate a waterbody.