Victorian Escapee Arrested - Giant Hog Weed Under Control
4th July 2012
Giant Hogweed is an impressive plant from the Caucasus region of far eastern Europe which can grow up to 12 feet tall and can have a flower head up to a foot across. These impressive statistics made it a plant that was sought after for Victorian estate gardens. In the Highlands it is thought that the climate has limited the plant's spread from Victorian gardens and it is only found in a few places and, apart from the River Nairn, it does not cover a substantial area. But with our climate warming this could create the right conditions for further expansion of the Giant Hogweed along the rivers in Highland.
To stop this happening and to get this species under control work was started on the Balnagown River by the Cromarty Firth Fishery Trust and on the Auldearn Burn by the landowners there to control the plant. However this work stopped by 2009 so The Highland Council decided to identify the main areas of Giant Hogweed not under active control and secure funding to coordinate control.
A three-year grant was secured from SNH with match funding from the council to coordinate control of the Giant Hogweed on the Auldearn Burn and around Munlochy. A local land agent, Bowlts, was paid to contact all the owners and arrange access for a single contractor to spray all the sites in Spring. Each landowner payed for the spraying required on their ground.
At Munlochy, within just one year of spraying, there has been a noticeable difference in the cover of Giant Hogweed. At Auldearn the cover has reduced significantly since 2006 but there are still a few plants springing up due to the large seedbed and the fact the seeds can stay dormant for over 5 years, but it is very much under control.
In 2011 the Inverness Non-Native Plants Project started, partially funded by the Landfill Communities Fund, this is tackling species such as Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed in the Inverness area. In 2012 coordinated control works started on the River Nairn by The Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fishery Trust and the riparian landowners.
In 2012 a further 4 years of funding of Giant Hogweed Control coordination was secured from SNH with match funding from Highland Council. This will continue the work underway in Auldearn and Munlochy. This is a long term project but by acting now, a great deal of money will be saved both in terms of control costs and also reducing any income lost due to this plants impact on local businesses.
Photo from Wikipedia
See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_hogweed
The Highland Council has welcomed the clear and unanimous recommendation published in the long-awaited report from the Independent Airports Commission into increasing the UK's airport capacity, that increased runway capacity should be created at Heathrow Airport, London with the construction of a third runway. The Commissions' report stated that "capacity constraints at Heathrow Airport have seen the number of domestic connections decline at the airport over recent years with no daily service operating between Heathrow and Inverness since 1997." It added that "a new runway at Heathrow will enhance the domestic connectivity of the UK, strongly benefitting the regions outside of London and the South East." The Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson (Independent) welcomed the recommendation by the Independent Airports Commission.
The Highland Council has published its notice to tender for ICT Core Services on Public Contracts Scotland website. The scope of the ICT Core Services to be sourced under this procurement are broadly defined as ‘providing managed technology infrastructure, application systems and desktop services required for the delivery of the Authority's business including educational ICT and online Public Access Services'.
The Highland Council has agreed to invest £2.36 million in repairing the regional road network. The non-earmarked balance of reserves from 2014-15 is £5.928 million.
Councillor Helen Carmichael who represents Aird and Loch Ness Ward was elected as the new Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area today (Thursday 25 June 2015). Nominated by Councillor Margaret Davidson, and seconded by Councillor Jim Crawford, Councillor Carmichael was duly elected at a special meeting of the City of Inverness Area Committee held at Council Headquarters in Inverness.
Eight businesses are the first in Highland to successfully apply for free Broadband Connection Vouchers which will now enable them to boost their broadband to make sure they benefit from new IT opportunities and better productivity. The scheme, which provide grants of up to £3,000 to help small businesses and charities is funded by the UK Government's SuperConnected Cities Initiative and is administered locally by The Highland Council in conjunction with City of Edinburgh Council.
At its meeting on 16 June 2015, the Highland Licensing Board approved the final terms of its Supplementary Licensing Policy Statement on Extended Hours for Special Events of Local or National Significance. This supplements the Board's main Licensing Policy Statement 2013-2016 and will have effect as Board Policy until November 2016, when the main Statement is next due for review.
On Friday 26 June, the Caithness District Partnership will meet in full as part of the arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Issues to be discussed will include updates on the NHS redesign of Caithness General Hospital and local NHS staffing.
On Wednesday 10th June 2015 The Highland Council held a facebook chat giving lots of information and advice on what people can do to ensure they are receiving the correct benefits and tax credits, as well as giving handy tips on how to manage budgets and avoid getting into debt. Staff from the Council's Income Maximisation and Money Advice teams spent two hours on facebook answering questions on benefits, welfare, money advice and personal budgeting.
A special meeting of the Council was held this morning to form a new Administration and elect a Leader and senior officer bearers. It was agreed that a Minority Administration of the Independent Group would lead the Council with Cllr Margaret Davidson as elected Leader.
High Life Highland has today announced that the contract to provide new improved facilities at Thurso Swimming Pool has been awarded to local contractor O'Brien Construction Ltd. The project jointly funded by The Highland Council and sportscotland will see a total investment of £2.7M in the facility providing a new gym/fitness suite, a new dance studio, steam room , sauna, new changing village and replacement of the roof.
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