CAN you help the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority tackle non-native invaders? The authority has set up a successful strategy to do this but now it needs your help.

The Stitch in Time project has been running for six years, following a pilot in the Cwm Gwaun catchment. It has since been extended across four other local catchments, as well as smaller sites across the national park.

During the recent Invasive Species Week, held during the last week of May, volunteers and staff worked hard to remove Himalayan balsam from land adjacent to Penrallt Garden Centre in Moylegrove.

Once seen as an exotic addition to Victorian gardens, Himalayan balsam is now widely spread throughout the British Isles, thanks to its ability to discharge thousands of seeds into the surrounding landscape and nearby waterways.

As an invasive non-native species it can outcompete other plants, quickly establishing a monoculture and reducing diversity across sites and even entire catchments. Himalayan balsam has also been shown to impact pollinators by diverting flight paths and reducing nutrient intake where it is the dominant resource.

"A central aim of this project is to increase awareness among individuals, communities and landowners about invasive non-native species (INNS), and to build capacity to monitor the situation once this investment brings land into a more manageable state," said the authority's invasive non-native species project coordinator, Matthew Tebbutt

"We really need to know where Himalayan balsam is present, but also know where the plant is absent. So we're asking members of the public, residents and visitors to get in touch with presence and absence records, particularly from areas near water, public footpaths and hedges, as this creates a strategic picture of a site or catchment.

"It also helps us pinpoint where to focus limited resources and ensures that re-infestation doesn't occur, extinguishing the seed bank within a couple of seasons. We have applied this strategy successfully in the coastal catchment of Porthgain."

The work so far has been made possible thanks to support from the Welsh Government's Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing grant, Natural Resources Wales and a Local Places for Nature grant secured by the park authority.

To submit records or get advice on Invasive Species, contact Matt Tebbutt at or phone 01646 624800.

More details about the Stitch in Time project can be found at