Framework Sustainability Forum acts on invasive species

Framework Sustainability Forum acts on invasive species

We’re proud to share the news that members of our Framework Sustainability Forum recently spent a productive morning clearing a stretch of river close to the M25 network of invasive non-native plants.

The Framework Sustainability Forum, which consists of representatives from all organisations in the One Community; Connect Plus Services, Jackson, Octavius, Milestone Infrastructure, and Tarmac, meets on a quarterly basis to share best practice and learn from each other’s experiences. However, instead of following the usual meeting format in July, the team met at the offices of the Canal & Rivers Trust at Enfield Lock before taking to the water to remove floating pennywort from the Lee Navigation.

Native to the Americas and introduced to the UK in the 1980s through the ornamental aquatic trade, floating pennywort has spread rapidly from garden ponds into our waterways. It’s problematic for the existing ecosystem because it forms dense mats of rounded leaves which float across the water’s surface, depleting oxygen levels and light for photosynthesis, threatening fish and invertebrates, and outcompeting native water plants.

During the sunny morning in July, volunteers from the Forum successfully removed clumps from the river, which they accessed in canoes, before colleagues on the banks lifted the vegetation into tubs and took it away. In total, a tonne of foliage was disposed of, so it was a very successful effort!

British Canoeing and the Angling Trust are working in partnership with the Canals and Rivers Trust and Environment Agency to remove this species with the help of volunteers.


Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • 14 years ago, National Highways awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
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