Although famous for its beautiful flowers during spring, rhododendron can grow many metres tall, allowing very little light to penetrate through its thick canopy. This has been shown to reduce the numbers of earthworms, birds and plants in a site, leading to a reduction in the biodiversity of the area.
In the New Forest the fightback is on, with a project to remove the plant from the 20,000 hectares of Forestry England managed land in the National Park making significant inroads.
As part of the HLS scheme, rhododendron has been removed from 200 sites and a winter programme will ensure it’s kept in check.
If you have rhododendron on your New Forest property, thank you for keeping it contained and not letting it spread onto the open forest.