SDLP Glens Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop has highlighted the concerns of local anglers and farmers over Japanese knotweed which is threatening to invade the River Dall and distort the flow of water and damage structures around the river.
She said: “Japanese knotweed has an invasive root system which is strong enough to damage concrete foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paying, retaining walls and architectural sites.
“It has, unfortunately, taken hold along the Dall River at Cushendall and is causing grave concern to the wider community who don’t want to see this invasive species contributing to the increased risk of flooding.
“It has also caused anxiety for local anglers who are worried that it will eventually reduce the capacity of the channels and, as a consequence, have a direct impact on angling.
“I have been in touch with the Department of the Environment to alert them to the risks that now exist and hope that in conjunction with Rivers Agency there can be a solution which will remove this threatening species of weed which has the potential to do serious harm to our river and its environment.
“Our local anglers make an important environmental contribution to the maintenance of our rivers and their banks.
“I aim to support them in every way possible and advocate financial support to carry out critical work including the eradication of Japanese knotweed.”
Fallopia japonica, commonly known as Japanese knotweed, is a large, herbaceous perennial plant of the family Polygonaceae, native to Eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea.