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7 Aug 2019

Getting rid of rhodies

Two people at work in woodland, trying to remove some invasive rhododendron plants.
Volunteers clearing Rhododendron ponticum
We’re stemming the spread of Rhododendron ponticum thanks to the hard work of our conservation volunteers, who are ‘bashing’ back this invasive species and giving our native trees, shrubs and plants space to grow.

Rhododendron ponticum is a big problem for Scotland’s flora. The plant has spread widely across Scotland since it was introduced in the 1700s. It crowds out native plants, shrubs and trees, and can carry pathogens that harm other plants too.

At the Trust, we’re doing our bit to tackle this invasive species using a range of methods – in Wester Ross, we’ve been using stem injection techniques to get rid of rhodies. We also carry out a huge amount of rhodie-bashing – this is hard, physical work to clear these plants and give native species the light and space they need to regrow.

Much of this work is carried out by our dedicated Conservation Volunteer (CV) groups, who work at Trust places all over the country. The Glasgow CVs head to Brodick in September for a bout of rhodie-bashing.

A view of Brodick Castle seen from the wide entrance path, just past the gates. Large trees stand either side of the gravel path.
Glasgow Conservation Volunteers head to Brodick Castle for some rhodie bashing in September

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