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18 Feb 2021

Project Wipeout: controlling invasive plants

A person in a woollen hat is drilling into a rhododendron bush on a hillside overlooking a bay.
Invasive species control at Torridon
Over the last 6 months, the Trust has been making good progress on our plan to wipe out invasive plants at some of our places.

Project Wipeout has successfully tackled over 40 hectares of the most destructive plants since August 2020, including Rhododendron ponticum, Japanese knotweed and American skunk cabbage at eight of our most important sites across Scotland.

The work has been made possible thanks to funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the NatureScot Biodiversity Challenge Fund and Baillie Gifford.

We’re working with contractors to make real inroads in the fight against these harmful plant species which crowd out Scotland’s native flora.

Work has taken place on our estates at Inverewe, Corrieshalloch Gorge, Torridon, Balmacara and Kintail in Wester Ross, at Brodie Castle in Moray, at Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park on Arran and at Culzean Castle & Country Park in South Ayrshire.

A range of removal methods are being used, depending on local circumstances – at Torridon, a mulcher proved to be effective in tackling dense Rhododendron ponticum.

A yellow machine is mulching rhododendron bushes in woodland, looked on by a man in a safety helmet.
Mulching rhododendron at Torridon

The Trust’s Natural Heritage Advisor Rob Dewar said: ‘Project Wipeout is progressing well and we’ve been able to carry out significant areas of removal at Trust sites across the country. This means that this spring, native plants will have more light and space to grow, which is great news for our nation’s biodiversity.’

A man is standing in front of dense rhododendron bushes, holding a leaflet about Torridon.
Rob Dewar at Torridon

Now, we’re getting ready to share our expertise in removal methods at an online conference looking at invasive species in Scotland, produced in partnership with Wester Ross UNESCO Biosphere on 2 March.

See the full programme and how to book.

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