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GPS/GIS Technology - a tool for
strategic invasive weed management?
“The objective of data collection should
be that of being able to prioritise the
impact of each infestation against the
level of threat it poses” By Jon Barton, PBA Solutions
The war against terror is dependant upon strategies are reducing the percentage area of
GPS/GIS Technology, yet few people realise invasive weed contamination, or if the weed is
what a valuable weapon it is against the terror still taking hold and damaging our natural
of invasive weeds encountered in ground environment. A strategic approach that focuses
maintenance. Such technology and services on control will have far reaching benefits, as
can have far reaching benefits in reducing the already discussed.
environmental, financial and legal burden upon
To ensure that the data collected is not just
perplexed landowners. Pressure on landowners
academic, and turn GPS/GIS systems into a
to take effective control of their invasive
usable tool, expertise is fundamental in the
weeds infestations has gained momentum
creation of a meaningful database. The objective
in recent years and will continue to grow as
of data collection should be to prioritise the
public awareness increases.
impact of each infestation against the level of
When properly used, GPS/GIS systems can threat it poses to human health, the environ-
become a valuable management tool for the ment, built structures, safety and neighbouring
collection of data to develop strategies, property.
communicate information and hold records.
Once data is collected it can be analysed and a
Knowledge about highly invasive weeds should
control strategy developed, focusing treatment
be as important to a landowner as tree safety
toward high priority infestations while min-
because these weeds are a real threat to our
imising treatment to low priority infestations.
environment and society as a whole. It is ironic
Implementation of such a strategy will yield
that, with the possession of such basic knowledge
financial benefits and reduce potential legal
about what is within the green estate, the
liabilities. Similarly the environmental impact
financial burden of invasive weeds could have
of overall treatment should be reduced when
been avoided.
compared to the blanket control approach i.e.
The use of GIS/GPS systems for tree and all infestations are treated with the same
vegetation surveys is common practice so why chemical at the same time.
not utilise this technology in the fight against
invasive weeds? Landowners such as councils,
Invasive Weed Management -
facility and estate managers and those
Landscape & Arboricultural Surveys
responsible for any large area of green estate
which is threatened by the existence of invasive
Invasive weeds
weeds such as Japanese knotweed, Giant Landscape
hogweed, Himalayan balsam and Ragwort can
Arboriculture
GPS MAPPING GPR SURVEYS WEED CONTROL
benefit from utilising this technology.
www.pba-solutions.com info@pba-solutions.com
For example, Swansea City Council and
GPS vegetation mapping
Cornwall County Council have undertaken
GPS/GIS surveys to locate and measure the
Structured vegetation control programs
extent of Japanese knotweed they have within
Surveys, management plans, dispute resolution
their jurisdiction. By regularly updating the
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) - root detection & geoscape surveys
data, they have established that it is possible
For expert advice call 01202 831151
to demonstrate whether current management PBA Solutions is a division of PBA Consulting Partnership LLP
ENVIRONMENT INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
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