Ivy – The Great Silent Blight

Dear Editor,

I wonder whether members of our local community have noticed just how serious the problem of ivy has become in Wendover and the surrounding area. Described by Queen Mary as a ‘noxious and dangerous weed’ very few trees have remained free of this pernicious and opportunistic parasite; indeed, practically every tree, shrub and fencepost is covered with its luxuriant and fast spreading growth making the landscape appear more like a verdant green forest than the English countryside in midwinter. The area by the side of the canal is particularly bad and a few weeks ago a combination of ivy and high winds brought down quite a large tree which fell across the path and landed in the water. The area of trees on the other side of the canal is completely choked with it as is the small woodland site between the canal and the path surrounding the reservoir. The problem is not only confined to Wendover of course; Weston Turville and Halton have been completely overtaken by this great silent blight.

There are, of course, no real short cuts where the removal of ivy is concerned. The thick woody stems twisting up the tree need to be sawn at the base which certainly kills it – but then the clinging tendrils really do need to be pulled away as it is very unsightly if left intact. Perhaps it is because of global warming that there has been such an unprecedented growth of the stuff in recent years, and I am really concerned that unless there is proper recognition of the seriousness of the problem, and a concerted campaign is formulated to rid our local countryside of this parasite, it will quite simply take over and our precious Chiltern landscape – under so much threat just now – really will be changed forever.