Not quite the aliens we imagine flying around in UFO’s or those with an appearance of ET, but invasive species of plants on the estate.
Unfortunately in many areas around the world this has become a problem, with many invasive, exotic or alien species taking over waterways, environments and habitats. In doing so these plants rapidly expand their territory and in turn begin to push out their indigenous neighbours. Some species even use chemical warfare in order to secure themselves. Referred to as antibiosis or allelopathy the invasive species release chemicals into the soil therefore deriving full benefit for themselves whilst harming any other species and preventing them from growing.
We have started to remove as many of these invasive alien species on the estate as possible, and to try and rehabilitate and encourage indigenous growth. One of the species on our target list, which we have been removing quite regularly, is Sisal Agave sisalana. A native species of Mexico, and used widely for the production of hemp, rope, string and other binding material, which is obtained from the strong fibres of the plant. However, planted for agriculture in many parts of Africa and Madagascar for this use, it does run wild if left, and spreads incredibly quickly.
So a difficult one to stay on top of, but we remove them roots and all, trying to avoid the irritating thorns, which is not easy, and then taking to the refuse dump, where they dispose of it.
The battle continues!