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  • Writer's pictureTallulah

A Guide to Reed and Duckweed Removal

The maintenance of the canal system and other inland waterways, including lakes, rivers and attenuation ponds, require effective aquatic weed control. Without cut reeds or weeds being managed, excessive growth can lead to these waterways not running as effectively.

Consequently, reed bed maintenance and weed clearance are vital to ensuring a functional waterway system. Because of this, organisations like The Rothen Group (TRG) are tasked with removing weed and reeds as it grows. Though the work is year-round, it is especially busy during the warmer summer months when weed blooms are more prominent and can become a real issue for pleasure boaters and freight alike.

Aquatic weed control in the UK takes place in several specific environments, from the larger canals and water courses to smaller areas like side ponds and dry dock entrances. But one thing remains clear – aquatic vegetation grows on all water bodies, and needs to be maintained if the waterways are to work properly.

What Can The Rothen Group Do?

TRG is highly experienced in weed and duckweed removal and removing other unwanted aquatic vegetation, such as floating pennywort, duckweed and reeds. We have the largest fleet in the country, dedicated to reed bed maintenance and canal maintenance. This includes aquatic weed cutters, as well as convers and weed harvesters.

Through innovative, continuous deployment of boats, including aquatic vegetation cutters and underwater reed cutters, we can cut reeds and weeds, then rake them and scoop them into a hopper or onto a nearby bank. This is especially helpful in hard-to-reach sites that require aquatic weed and duckweed removal, canal maintenance or reed bed maintenance, where access via land may not be possible.

Additionally, once our team has used aquatic cutters, underwater weed cutters or any other part of our wide range of machinery, our floating plant capabilities can then be utilised for on-site waste disposal. Alternatively, we can use our specialist equipment and fleet to remove the weeds and reeds by road or water. This can then be deposited at sites where this aquatic vegetation can be dried and reused as topsoil or compost.

What Is The Rothen Group’s Experience?

As one of the foremost marine engineering and maintenance companies in the UK, TRG are highly involved in aquatic vegetation and duckweed removal, reed bed maintenance and canal maintenance all over the country. For example, since 2019 we maintain over 30 miles of canals and rivers in London and its surrounding area. Using seven boats as aquatic weed rake cutters and underwater mowers of aquatic vegetation, we keep the waterways clear from April to October and are expanding the project to deal with invasive species over the winter too.

Outside of the capital, we carried out aquatic vegetation clearance in the Midlands since 2020 to remove pennywort and submerged reed fringes as part of the maintenance of canal systems that have been disused. Furthermore, we are involved with Environmental Agency frameworks for East Anglia and Somerset, and have been contracted to carry out duckweed and blanket weed removal and reed bed maintenance for Derbyshire and Leicestershire County Councils from 2017. Over 2019, our efforts carrying out aquatic weed collection in the UK resulted in 2600 tonnes of weed being scooped up.

Contact The Rothen Group Today

In conclusion, canal maintenance, and the maintaining of other bodies of water through means such as reed cutting machines, is a highly specialised task. It requires experience and expertise, which we have in abundance. So, if you require duckweed and aquatic weed removal, canal maintenance or reed bed maintenance services, we are more than happy to discuss your needs and undertake a site visit free of charge, to assess the best approach for you.

To arrange a site visit, please contact 01827 215715 or email

Canal Reed and Duckweed Removal

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