Staff and volunteers at the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve have been removing the pirri-pirri bur from the sand dunes at Cocklawburn and Cheswick.
They have been tackling it using garden forks and hand-pulling, which is effective at removing most of the vegetation but is very hard work.
Staff have been working with Berwick Wildlife Group to map the extent of pirri-pirri bur at the northern edge of the reserve. Large patches have been found among Cheswick dunes.
The grid reference of each patch of pirri-pirri has been recorded in order to create a map of its invasion. Reserve staff and volunteers will then remove the pirri-pirri at each reference point, then next year repeat this to see how effective removal has been.
Pirri-pirri is an invasive, non-native plant from New Zealand, which grows aggressively and pushes out native plants. The seeds have spines that stick to clothing and dog fur, meaning they are easily transported.
It causes artificial dune stabilisation, competes with native sand dune species, and invades the botanically rich areas of the dunes in dry seasons.
In addition to hand-pulling the plants, reserve staff and volunteers are collecting the seeds on the main paths among the dunes of Holy Island to prevent them being spread further into the dunes.
Visitors can help by staying on the paths when visiting the reserve, and by checking your shoes, clothing and dogs for the burs before leaving.
If you would like to tackle the pirri-pirri bur and help out, please contact the reserve office on 01289 381470.