This year we managed to secure limited funding from the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund (SLCF) through EB Scotland, The Land Trust and South Ayrshire Waste and Environment Trust.
Contractors have been busy on the River Ayr and tributaries including the Lugar Water, Water of Coyle and Water of Fail while our other contractors have been busy on the River Irvine, Annick Water, River Garnock and Pow Burn. ART staff have been controlling the plants on the River Doon where the plants exist in three locations at a low level, staff have also been spraying in other areas on behalf of the local councils.
We are nearing the end of the control programme for 2017 but due to the scale of the project, there are inevitably plants missed during the first run through each catchment which started in April.
I will be out with contractors on the Irvine, Annick and Garnock tomorrow to spray any plants that have been missed and plan to do the same on the River Ayr and tributaries over the coming days.
I’m happy to report that since starting this control strategy eight years ago in some areas and six years in others that we have clearly made a massive difference to our once infested river banks. Giant Hogweed control is never a quick fix with seeds remaining viable in the soil for over ten years. It’s a long battle against this highly invasive and toxic plant but we are gaining ground on a yearly basis.
As ever we ask anglers and members of the public to get in touch if you see any flowering plants, these are the ones we are interested in at this time of year as they will soon produce seeds. As long as no plants area allowed to set seed each year we are reducing the seed bank present in the soil each year.