Invasive Species

JAPANESE KNOTWEED



Identification:

  • Green cane-like stems with red specks that can reach up to 2 - 3m tall.
  • Heart shaped green leaves up to 120mm long.
  • Creamy white flowers from August to October
  • Roots consist of rhizomes that can reach up to 3m deep!

Control Options:

Applying with a commercial glyphosate-based chemical such as Roundup ProBiactive is highly effective
  • Spraying - This should take place 4 times per year for a total of 4 years. The initial spraying should commence in May when the plant is 3 foot tall, and the final spraying should be in September just before the plant dies back for the winter. The two other sprayings should be within these dates during the summer.
  • Stem Injection - This should be carried out once a year for a total of two years. This should take place in August time when the plant is at its strongest to support the treatment. A follow up visit should take place to treat any stems missed.

Do's and Don'ts!:

  • Never throw away or fly tip plant material or soil - under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or otherwise encourage the growth of Japanese Knotweed.
  • Never strim, flail, mow or chip Japanese Knotweed - pieces of stem as small as a fingernail can grow into new stems.
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) should be contacted before any chemical control takes place near water.
  • Removal of plant material off site must be carried out by a licensed carrier

HIMALAYAN BALSAM



Identifications

  • Stems are sappy and hollow in pinky-red colour. They can grow to 3m, being the tallest annual plant in Britain.
  • Spear-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Dark green with a dark red midrib up to 150mm long.
  • Flowers are slipper-shaped on long stalks. They are purplish-pink and flower from June to August.
  • Seeds are white, brown and black. They are produced from July to October with 4 - 16 per pod that explode, throwing seeds up to 20 foot

Control Options

Spraying with a commercial glyphosate-based chemical such as Roundup ProBiactive is effective. This should be done when the leaves are fully out, but before flowering - typically in June

Cutting stems with a strimmer or pulling up hand before it flowers and sets seeds is successful. This grazing technique is highly effective.

Himalayan Balsam can be disposed of by leaving to dry out onsite or by burning.

Do's and Don'ts!

  • Never throw away or fly tip plant material or soil - under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or otherwise encourage the growth of Himalayan Balsam.
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) should be contacted before any chemical control takes place near water.
  • Do not touch the plant when loaded seed pods are showing - they will explode showering seeds. Be careful not to transport seeds to a new site. Seeds can be hidden in clothing or on your dog for example.


GIANT HOGWEED



Identification

  • Stems are hollow, green with dark or purple blotches and will grow up to 5m tall!
  • Leaves are dark green in a rosette with a jagged appearance and spiky at the ends. The lower leaves can be up to 1.5m long!.
  • Flowers are white with several hundred in large umbrella-like flower heads up to 50cm across, appearing from June - July.
  • Each flower will produce up to 50,000 seeds that are easily dispersed by water and can remain viable for up to 15 years

Control Options

Spraying with a commercial glyphosate-based chemical, such as Roundup ProBiactive is effective on Giant Hogweed. The plant needs to be sprayed once all the leaves are fully out, but before flowering. This is typically in June. Any re-growth can be sprayed later in the season. The plant should be controlled in 2 - 3 years, but will need future checking for any newly germinating seeds.

Cutting the stems before the plant flowers and sets seed is also an effective control option. This grazing-like method will stop the plant from producing seeds. This should be done for 2 - 3 years before achieving full eradication. Due to the health and safety issues with the 'skin burning' sap of Giant Hogweed, cutting should only be carried out by a qualified person.

Do's and Don'ts!

  • Never throw away or fly tip plant material or soil - under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or otherwise encourage the growth of Giant Hogweed.
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) should be contacted before any chemical control takes place near water.
  • Giant Hogweed should not be touched without protective clothing as contact with the sap can produce painful skin conditions

CIRB Project

Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT) is one of five Scottish partners led by the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) with the Ayrshire Rivers Trust, Argyll Fisheries Trust and the Tweed Forum that have successfully secured EU Interreg support for a £2.6 million initiative (with £1.2 million attributed to the Scottish Partners) to control and if possible eradicate on a catchment scale various alien riverbank plants.

This will be achieved by developing best control techniques in cross-border collaboration with Queens University Belfast, the Central Fisheries Board in the Republic of Ireland and the Scottish partners.

The project began on the 1st of September 2010 and will run for just over 4 years in order to manage and control effectively the regeneration of the plants and to demonstrate the improved ecosystem services and economic benefits resulting from their removal.

In Galloway all the work will be focused on eradicating Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed from across five catchments; Water of Fleet, Water of Luce, Rivers Bladnoch, Urr and the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee. The control work will be undertaken by GFT staff, contractors and volunteers and involve both knapsack spraying and stem injecting herbicide.

This work will support that already being undertaken by the Galloway Fisheries Trust on the lower River Cree to eradicate Japanese Knotweed in and around Newton Stewart.

Invasive non native species infestation and management within Galloway is a priority issue within the Solway Tweed River Basin District as set out in the draft River Basin Management Plan and North Solway Area Management Plan.

These plans together set out strategic (River Basin District scale) and local (Area Management Plan scale) priorities, implementation and detail as part of the Water Framework Directive river basin planning process. Invasive non native species are also identified as priorities generating management provisions and measures in the Dumfries and Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan and the Galloway Fisheries Trust Fisheries Management Plan.

Surveying

During the Autumn/Winter of 2010, GFT surveyed the Water of App, Luce, Bladnoch, Fleet, Dee and Urr for the presence of Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.

GFT recorded:
  • 11,000 sq m of Japanese Knotweed on the Water of Luce
  • 450 sq m of Japanese Knotweed on the River Bladnoch
  • 3,500 sq m of Japanese Knotweed on the Water of Fleet
  • 4,500 sq m of Japanese Knotweed on the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
  • 4,500 sq m of Japanese Knotweed on the River Urr
  • 3,500 sq m Giant Hogweed on the River Urr
In 2011 all the areas detailed above were sprayed or injected, this work will continue as necessary over the following few years.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

GFT are keen to hear from anyone that has reports of Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam or Giant Hogweed locations near watercourses within the catchment area.

Dumfries and Galloway Council are equally keen to receive any roadside location reports by calling the main switch board on 030 3333 3000.

If you are interested in assisting in this project or wish to find out more information about the current and proposed work, or want advice on controlling these alien plant species, please contact CIRB Project Officer, Neil Dalrymple on 01671 403011 or mail@gallowayfisheriestrust.org.