Weeds start to take over Stoke stream

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Stream edges in parts of Stoke have become “rampant” with weeds, which are so thick that one resident has deemed them to be a flood risk.

Marye Miller contacted the Nelson Weekly, concerned about the amount of what she says are “noxious weeds” growing up in amongst native plants in and around the Orchard Stream Garden, and other parts of the stream along The Ridgeway and further up Marlowe St.

She says she has noticed that the weeds have been growing progressively over the last year, and despite contacting Nelson City Council three times about the weeds, she has not been given any answers.

“We moved here November 2014 and remarked how neat and tidy the stream banks were,” says Marye, who walks her dog along the path by the stream most days. “Now you can hardly even see there is a stream there.”

The main noxious weed she has seen is Tradescantia Fluminensis – commonly known as Wandering Willy or Wandering Jew, which is considered an “invasive species” or “pest plant.” She has also noticed buttercup, sticky weed and arum lilies along the stream edges.

“They climb up through the plants and basically smother them,” she says.

A spokesman from Nelson City Council says Marye’s messages were received and they are aware of the weeds, which they believe to be “problem weeds,” rather than noxious.

Alec Louverdis, Group Manager Infrastructure at the council says that spraying work has been carried out on the worst of the weeds, and a follow up control has been programmed for after the holiday break.

He also says the weeds are very difficult to control with the chemicals they are able to use along and within stream systems.

Since the Weekly contacted the council on Thursday, Marye says it looks like someone has been there and chopped some of the weeds out, but have just left them on the banks.

“There has been a bit of spraying since Thursday, but not on the creeping weeds as far as I can make out,” she says. “I can see they have chopped the arum lilies, but left the bulbs.”
Marye’s husband, who is a green keeper, says the weeds are, indeed noxious and would also like to see the area properly maintained.