Apart from the leachate escaping the landfill that pollutes the Water of Fail, there’s another environmental disaster underway. The site has come to our attention due to the presence of Giant Hogweed around the settlement ponds and the drainage ditches that take water from the site to the Biggary Burn and the Water of Fail.
The scale of the problems is vast and with SNH and SEPA both unable to help authorise or instruct control, we felt that the Trust must intervene or face widespread reinfestation of the lower catchment by this noxious and highly invasive plant.
Due to the stage of development (many flowers had already set seed) we decided that cutting and burning flower heads prior to spraying with glyphosate was the only real option to prevent millions of seeds being generated and released this year. While we have tacked some of the plants, we haven’t been able to spray or remove flowers from them all; only the ones that pose the greatest threat of escape downstream. If we can find the resources, we will return and spray more but really we need SNH to apply the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland ) Act 2011 and force entry and instruct a contractor to perform control. They have the legal powers to do this and seek recompense from the operator (admittedly they are in receivership) but SNH should act and act quickly.
I’ve added a link to a You Tube video we shot today that illustrates the level of infestation across the site