Invasive Weeds Project
Invasive Weeds are increasingly becoming recognised as an environmental and economic problem throughout the UK. Three main species are recognised as particularly detrimental including Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. In 2008, ART commenced a survey of these species on Ayrshire rivers and undertook an eradication programme for Giant Hogweed on the upper River Ayr. Giant Hogweed is a particularly dangerous plant that can cause severe burns and blisters to humans when their skin comes into contact with the sap of the plant.
Giant Hogweed in flower. Each plant can produce 50,000 seeds.
Himalayan Balsam, colours range from white to strong pinks & purples. An attractive but highly invasive weed.
The Project includes surveys of invasive weed distribution on the main watercourses in Ayrshire. The Rivers Irvine, Ayr and Girvan were mapped during 2008 and the Stinchar, Doon and Garnock are almost complete at the time of writing (August 2009).The results are detailed in the maps available on this site. More detail is available from ART. Due to the ever changing distribution of invasive weeds these maps represent the distribution at the time of survey and will be updated as and when required. ART cannot be held liable for omissions or errors that may occur.
Inappropriate methods of control include strimming, cutting and excavating, all of which may lead to the rapid spread of plants. ART can advise landowners on best practice when dealing with these species. Contact either Stuart or Brian for assistance.
Please click on the following pdf link for a copy of advice to control the invasive non native weeds in a river environment.
For all species near watercourses, application of chemicals must be approved by SEARS (Scottish Government) prior to commencement. The application form is available by clicking here and submission is free.
In 2008 ART undertook experimental control of Giant Hogweed on the River Ayr upstream of Stair Bridge. This trial continued in 2009 and has been highly effective. During 2010, ART continued with their control on the upper River Ayr, but additionally extended control to public areas in the lower river on behalf of South Ayrshire Council. The Pow Burn, Ladykirk Burn and another connected but un named burn were also brought under control by Trust staff. Himalayan Balsam within the Doon catchment was also targeted which was possible due to funding received from SEPA's restoration fund and the Doon Salmon Fishery Board. Japanese Knotweed will also be targeted during Autumn 2010 on the Doon, again possible due to contributions from the same organisations. The Rivers Irvine and Girvan have also benefitted from ART's commitment to control/eradicate these invasive species. Early in 2010, ART trained volunteers from angling clubs in the safe use of pesticides and during the season, these volunteers have actively been targeting their local waters with good results. Anyone interested in participating in future training and invasive weed control should contact the Trust.
Further funding has been applied for that will allow the control of this plant along the length of the Rivers Ayr, Annick, Irvine and Garnock.
Members of the public with information on any of these weeds are encouraged to contact the Trust. By mapping their distribution, it is hoped that strategic control measures can be implemented and the spread of the weeds halted.
ART staff are qualified and always willing to provide advice and guidance on invasive species control. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like our assistance.
Please use the form below: