Weeds are in hot water!

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre has become the first reserve in the country to buy and use WAVE as an environmentally friendly and sustainable method of weed control – using nothing but hot water!

The innovative Cardley-Wave system uses no chemicals but instead sprays hot water on to weeds and mosses to kill them organically.  Reserve Manager, Tom Clare, said: “I am absolutely delighted that WWT are leading the way in controlling invasive species through this method. The hot water system can be applied accurately to the weed, killing it in a way that has no negative impact on our water, environment or wildlife.”

Cardley-Wave equipment is used widely across Europe in cities to keep streets clean, but WWT Martin Mere has been the first nature reserve in England to purchase this equipment and benefit from this sustainable solution.

Tom continues: “At Martin Mere we have to control non-native invasive species such as crassula, injurious weeds like creeping thistle and docks as well as other species which may be undesirable in certain locations e.g. nettles and moss. As a result of human activities and changes in climatic regimes, species are being introduced to and colonising new areas around the world more rapidly than ever before. These species are termed ‘Invasive Non-Native Species’, and wetlands are particularly severely affected. This new equipment will ensure we can control these with no ill-effects to the environment.”

The Cardley-Wave Mid-Series 22/8 basically comprises a pump and water heater. It is transported from site to site on the back of a truck, or trailer, which also carries a large water tank. The water heater can be set to deliver either hot water or steam via a hose that can be fitted with a range of attachments to suit the task at hand. Weeds can be soaked over a period of time to totally kill the toughest varieties but smaller weeds can be seen wilting after one treatment.

Josh Sweeney, Group Marketing Manager at Cardley-Wave “I attended the first and only demonstration of our system at Martin Mere, the last time I was there was on a school trip, so it is really pleasing to see the operation embrace an environmentally friendly alternative to weed control which goes to show the unit’s overall effectiveness. The fact the guys have also maximised utilisation with additional attachments such as the water pump and drain jetter into addition to gum and general high pressure cleaning means downtime should be more or less eliminated.”

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm during winter months and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.  Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight WWT Wetland Centres.


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