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Hunting out shady characters

A three-strong team of specialist abseilers has been used by Waikato Regional Council to support landowners to clear around 100 woolly nightshade plants from a riverside area in Hamilton city.

The work, involving abseiling down steep banks, was done over one day recently on the riverside opposite the Malcolm St beach in Hillcrest.

Woolly nightshade is an invasive pest plant that outcompetes and suppresses native vegetation. Dealing to the plants involved cutting them down with a saw and painting the stumps with herbicide.

The work, aimed at helping restore native habitat by keeping on top of imported pest plants, was part of a winter pest plant control programme in Hamilton City to clear gullies and riverside areas.

Control of woolly nightshade is the responsibility of landowners under the regional pest management plan.

“One of our aims is to support the efforts of private landowners by carrying out control in difficult to access sites and other selected spots,” said pest plants biosecurity officer Hamish Hodgson.

People who want advice on controlling woolly nightshade can call the council on 0800 800 401.


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