The walk alongside the river Ure to Milby Lock from the bridge in Boroughbridge is an important asset for local people and for visitors alike. The amount of maintenance on this island between the river and canal has reduced in recent years resulting in a poorer environment and one which can only worsen as invasive plants such as Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed take hold. The area is now choked in the summer months by the Himalayan balsam which reaches eight feet in height, suppressing all other wild flowers and obstructing views of the river. The Milby Island Project has been set up by Charlie Merson, a Milby resident, and so far, has the support of Kirby Hill (Milby) and Langthorpe Parish Councils, The Canals and River Trust and Newby Hall Estate, the owner of the land.
At the end of March, as our picture shows, volunteers started work on clearance of large amounts of flood debris and dead timber so that later in the year the area can be ‘topped’ to eradicate the balsam and hogweed in selected areas – to open up views and let other plants have a chance. Lister Farms kindly loaned the heavy equipment and volunteers from Milby helped Charlie make a start on the project, which hopefully will be ongoing throughout the year if its aims are to be achieved.
If you would like to know more about the project or would like to volunteer to help please contact Charlie Merson firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Rae (Kirby Hill and District Parish Council)