Rhododendron was introduced to Great Britain in the 1800's by Victorian botanists who were enchanted by it's gorgeous flowers. A member of the Ericaceae family, along with our native Heather and Bilberry, It was intentionally planted in the wild to provide cover for game species like Grouse and Pheasant. It can easily be identified year round via it's evergreen foliage with leaves that grow in sets of 3, creating a 'star-shaped' pattern. Since it's tiny seeds can be distributed by the wind, it has spread across the UK and has grown uncontested, displacing native species and ruining local biodiversity.
Now that conservationists are aware of the devastating impact the species can have on biodiversity, Prospects is helping keep Peel Park and the Coppice LNR free of Rhododendron. Much work has been done in the past to remove the INNS by digging or 'grubbing' up the plant. Simply cutting the plant back is not enough as it can grow back.
On 23rd January 2023, 5 Rhododendron (seen below) were removed from the heathland with help from volunteers.
If you would to get involved in heathland management or have seen any Rhododendron on Peel Park and the Coppice LNR, then contact Robert at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 230248.