Please note new voting dates below.

With funding from Tesco, ART will be working with volunteers on the River Stinchar and Water of Girvan to control Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed, skunk cabbage and giant hogweed in 2017.

ART’s invasive plant control project on the Girvan and Stinchar is one of three projects in this area that has been shortlisted for funding by Tesco’s Bags of Help Fund. Between Monday 31st October and Thursday 13th November all three projects will be subject to a public vote with the project receiving  the highest number of votes being awarded £12,000, the second place project £10,000 and the third place project £8,000.

The amount of work ART will be able to deliver will be dependent upon the number of votes and ultimately the amount of funding our project receives – so please get voting!

You can vote for our project in each of the stores detailed below.

  • Ayr, Maybole Road,  – Tesco Express
  • Ayr Extra, Whitletts Road (beside Ayr Racecourse) – Tesco Extra
  • Irvine Riverway – Tesco Extra

The control of these plants is critical as they are highly pervasive and can reduce native biodiversity, cause bank erosion (these plants die back over the winter leaving exposed soil that is susceptable to being eroded during high flows), restrict public access to footpaths and in the case of giant hogweed the sap can cause recurrent blisters on contact with skin.


An example of a monoculture of Japanese knotweed on the banks of the ...... reducing native biodiversity

An example of a monoculture of Japanese knotweed on the banks of the Muck Water a tributary of the River Stinchar.

Through this project each catchment will be provided with training, tools, chemical, guidance and support from ART staff in the control of these plants. Each catchment will be provided with a bio security box that contains cleaning kits to decontaminate tools and PPE. This is critical in preventing the spread of water borne diseases, pathogens and invasive plants.

ART staff will resurvey each catchment identifying the worst affected areas allowing a targeted control regime to be implemented by volunteers and staff. ART staff will coordinate and work alongside volunteers to strim, pull and spray these plants.


An example of a path network being gradually lost to Japanese knotweed - without control paths can easily be lost to this plant

An example of a path gradually being lost to Japanese knotweed – without control paths can easily become smothered by this plant

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative across Scotland. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each region awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.  Greenspace Scotland are working with Groundwork to support Scottish communities. 

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 416 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 26 September to 9 October on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards. In total, there is over £12.5 million up for grabs.

Details of Tesco’s Bags of Help Fund are available at