Giant Hogweed control is now under way with our contractors currently working on the lower River Ayr and Annick Water. Already the weather has held things back but contractors are keen to push on when conditions allow.

As part of the CIRB project, we have awarded contracts for Giant Hogweed control on the Ayr, Garnock, Irvine, Annick, Coyle and Coastal Burns. The coastal burns contract also includes the Doon.

I was out this morning taking some photographs of selected areas, this allows us to compare photos taken at the same time in previous years so that we can see the reduction in plant numbers.

You can see from the photos below that plant growth is behind on last year. This is due to the cold weather we have been having recently but  the plants are still at a size where spraying with glyphosate is effective. You can also see from these photos that there is a good reduction in plant numbers from last year.


Giant Hogweed - Enterkine Banking 16/05/2012


Giant Hogweed - Enterkine Banking 15/05/2013


I also visited the Schaw Burn near Coalhaulwhich runs into the Water of Coyle. I had photographed our contractors  here in 2012 and again we can see a good reduction in plant numbers. The contractors will revisit this area in the coming weeks.

Giant Hogweed - Schaw Burn 04/06/2012

Giant Hogweed - Schaw Burn 15/05/2013


I have photographed a lot more areas and could go on posting them all but these are just a couple. There is obvious reduction in plant numbers even just from last year. The contractors will continue  as weather permits and I will update the blog as they move around between the different rivers.  It is vital that we continue to control Giant Hogweed in the years to come, should we fail to do so, it won’t be long before each area is as bad as it ever was.

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer and help out in the coming years then please get in touch on 01292 525142 or email

Full training to (NPTC level PA6AW, safe use of pesticides) can be provided as well as equipment. The more volunteers the better. I am particularly keen to hear from those in the River Ayr catchment, the CIRB project has funded training for around 25 volunteers so far with most of these coming from the Irvine, Annick and Garnock catchments.

I will also be looking for volunteers to help with himalayan balsam control on the Irvine, Garnock and Annick catchments. There is no need for training for this as the plants can be hand pulled. Again please get in touch if you would like to help. I will put another blog post up in the coming weeks regarding this.