Getting rid of an invasive species

Darrell Cole
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Nature Conservancy working to remove glossy buckthorn from Pugwash Estuary

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is looking for volunteers to help remove glossy buckthorn species from its property along the Pugwash Estuary. The third Buckthorn Bash is scheduled for June 15. 

PUGWASH – The Nature Conservancy of Canada in Nova Scotia is looking for volunteers to help uproot and remove the nasty invasive glossy buckthorn species at the third annual Buckthorn Bash in Pugwash on June 15.

The Pugwash River Estuary, where NCC has protected 1,030 acres (417 hectares) of land over the past 10 years, is a prime staging and migration route for a wide variety of waterfowl and shorebirds.

Staff and volunteers will be concentrating on removing glossy buckthorn saplings and seedlings that are approximately two to three meters high. The necessary tools will be provided.

“The Buckthorn plant, originating from Europe, was noticed in Nova Scotia about 14 years ago,” said Craig Smith, Nature Conservancy of Canada program manager.  “It out-competes native species for food and water and can grow up to 12 metres high if left alone. This poses a major threat to the Pugwash River Estuary’s ecosystems and native trees such as maple, ash, oak and pine.”

The Glossy Buckthorn looks very similar to many native plants, but the easiest way to spot them is by white marks on the bark.

Last year, approximately 20 people attended the event and officials are hoping to have as many out again this year. Organizers hope people will come out and see what the conservancy is attempting to do.

“The more people we have helping out, the bigger the impact we can make in the Pugwash Estuary,” Smith said.

During last year’s event, approximately 3,000 plants were removed, including about 250 mature, berry-producing plants.

The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is open to individuals, groups, and families.

For further information contact 1-877-231-4400 or visit our website at

Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to acknowledge and thank the Imperial Oil Foundation for supporting this Conservation Volunteers Event. 

Lunch will be supplied along with beverages and snacks. Individuals are asked to wear work clothes and sturdy footwear (no sandals). Sun protection and bug repellent are highly recommended as well.


Organizations: NCC, Imperial Oil Foundation

Geographic location: Canada, PUGWASH, Nova Scotia Pugwash River Estuary Europe

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Recent comments

  • Randy
    June 05, 2013 - 20:29

    I am a bit confused with the way Nature Conservancy of Canada , selects their projects down here . Do they only consider projects in the former owner of Seagulls Backyard ??? Oh , Right he is on the board ! And it is his backyard that he wants to beautify . I do remember last week that he also had a massive amount of land in his Backyard protected on the Pugwash estuary ! Good for him , Who else would'nt want neighbours . Didn't he also suck millions out of N.S. and send it all to Bermuda ???? and then close up shop after the Government takeover and then 200People lost their jobs . That is A FINE BACKYARD that YOU have ( Paid for buy every BLUENOSER ) Good to see you are back at it !!!