Virtual Tours: St. Helena
The Full Tour
Features of Natural Interest
Features of Other Interest, including Cultural
Threats / Problems / Issues
Projects / Conservation Actions
Organisations and Links
Tour Selection
Threats / Problems / Issues

Large areas of relict moist forest were also cleared to make way for plantations of New Zealand flax Phormium tenax. In the early 20th century, the flax industry sustained the island’s economy for over 50 years providing material for British Post Office bags until the market for natural fibre products declined in the 1960s. The flax mills are now abandoned, but large areas of upland hillside are still covered in flax monocultures and the flax plant is now invasive, displacing indigenous species. Flax removal projects began in the mid 2000s. Recently, a project, funded by the Darwin Initiative, commenced in April 2017 to establish a national framework for invasive plant management in St Helena (DPLUS059).

Left: An area in Diana's Peak National Park with restored habitat above the path and flax below, Right: An former flax mill in Fairyland

© Paul Tyson, Stewart McPherson
(Threats / Problems / Issues, 2 of 4 - Slide ref. 1013)