Stansted's pink pond to be sprayed to kill invasive weed
The pond at Bentfield Green in Stansted, which has been contaminated with an invasive pink weed, is set to be treated within the next few days.
Stansted Parish Council, which maintains the pond on behalf of Bentfield Bury Farms, has been aware of the issue for several months and was prompted to act after villagers highlighted their concerns.
Known as red fern or fairy fern, azolla filiculoides is described as "just about the most invasive non-native weed species in the UK" which has the ability to double in size every two hours if conditions are suitable.
It was first introduced by the Victorians as an ornamental plant and is available from garden centres. It is likely that humans or possibly ducks introduced it to Bentfield's pond.
Parish council clerk Ruth Clifford said that following advice from the farm estate and the Farming and Wildlife Group, the weed would be sprayed with an Environment Agency-approved water glyphosate, when dry conditions allowed, before being removed by hand. The dead fern is, however, likely to smell strongly.