Weeds a grow­ing prob­lem for res­i­dents

The Leader (Nelson) - - FRONT PAGE - CARLY GOOCH

Hem­lock, gorse and broom are just some of the weeds spilling over into the Jenk­ins Place cy­cle lane in Wakatu, caus­ing res­i­dents to ques­tion the coun­cil’s re­gard for the en­vi­ron­ment.

The noxious weeds pok­ing through the fence from coun­cil land have be­come an eye­sore, are threat­en­ing nearby Jenk­ins Creek and have be­come an ob­sta­cle for cy­clists us­ing the lane way, forc­ing them to swerve the prickly pests, res­i­dents say.

Res­i­dent Rae Jenk­ins said she had seen Nel­mac spray­ing the area in De­cem­ber but she didn’t think they were fre­quent­ing or spray­ing the area enough to make an im­pact.

‘‘One chap I spoke to said, ‘Oh no, I’m only al­lowed to spray what pokes through the fence’.

‘‘All that’s dead is about three plants’’ and they weren’t the ones grow­ing onto the path­way.

Nel­son’s weed con­trol is car­ried out by con­trac­tor Nel­mac.

Jenk­ins said when she moved into her home five years ago, the area be­hind the fence only had a few suc­cu­lents grow­ing.

‘‘The man that had this house be­fore me would go over and weed it.

‘‘There were no flax, no toitoi, no broom or gorse.

‘‘They’re all noxious weeds, they’re over­gown, they’re seed- ing. It’s just ugly.’’

Gorse and broom are shrub weeds which grow over or replace other plants. They can pre­vent re­gen­er­a­tion of na­tive plants and al­ter the struc­ture of na­tive’s com­mu­ni­ties.

Jenk­ins said the main con­cern for the res­i­dents was that they were all noxious weeds and if they weren’t ‘‘dealt with soon’’ they would block the creek.

It’s not only the weeds that the res­i­dents are con­cerned about. Maple and oak trees are tak­ing hold of the area with Jenk­ins es­ti­mat­ing hun­dreds of the de­cid­u­ous trees grow­ing into gi­ants.

The Nel­son City Coun­cil web­site con­sid­ered gorse and broom ’’bound­ary con­trol pests’’ and aimed to ‘‘con­trol the spread of them from ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties to land that is clear, or be­ing cleared’’.

Nel­son City Coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Paul Shat­tock said only weeds ‘‘up to the bound­ary with neigh­bour­ing landown­ers’’ were con­trolled.

He said Nel­mac ro­tated man­ag­ing the weeds over a four to five week pe­riod.

The pub­lic were en­cour­aged to call the coun­cil if they had any is­sues.

PHOTO: MARTIN DE RUYTER/ FAIRFAX NZ

Jenk­ins Place res­i­dents Raeleen Jenk­ins, left, John Ren­wick and An­gela Watt with an oak tree and gorse on the cy­cle way that runs along part of Jenk­ins Place.

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