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
Next Wednesday (4 February) the four housing partners of the Highland Housing Register in Caithness will be hosting special sessions in Wick and Thurso to let people know about an exciting new way of allocating some of its properties, giving applicants much more choice about the housing they will be offered. For a period from 16 February 2015 onwards, vacancies will be advertised to promote choice.
Paper and can banks are to be phased out of The Highland Council's network of Recycling Points during February and March. The decision was taken at a meeting of The Highland Council on the 18th December, at which the budget for 2015/16 and the indicative budget for the following 3 years was agreed, a package of savings totaling £42.8 million.
PROPOSALS for changing customer service provision in 22 locations across Highland are being considered as part of a public consultation. Council staff and members of the public are being asked for their views on proposed changes to how services are currently provided.
The Highland Council's new website has risen to the top 6% of UK Local Government websites, according to an independent survey into online presence. The website, launched in July 2014, aims to focus more on the needs of the customer and provides a platform to deliver more services online.
Early in February the first two in a series of workshops specifically for anyone working in the local food and drink sector will take place to highlight how social media can be best used to increase profit, support other local businesses and promote the area. The workshops follow on from the project The Highland Council ran last year across the Highlands to investigate the potential and appetite for developing an industry-led local food and drink network that could co-ordinate and drive future activities to support the local food and drink sector in the region.
The Highland Council wishes to clarify that if anyone is seeking information on their Winter Maintenance Policy and gritting maps then this information can be found on the Highland Council website. The Highland Council Winter Maintenance Policy states: "The treatment of roads will be carried out based on a hierarchical system dependant on route priority".
LEADER of The Highland Council, Drew Hendry and Chief Executive Steve Barron praised council workers following a week of severe weather affecting the region. Storm force winds caused havoc, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power for days, bringing trees and branches down across roads and railway lines, damaging buildings and causing network and telecommunications problems across the area.
Proposals to deliver the Scottish Government's report on "Developing Scotland's Young Workforce" in the Highlands have been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee this week. Members were informed that an implementation strategy for Highland’s young people will need to take into account: · industry engagement in developing general education Curriculum for Excellence; · specific vocational pathways leading to industry recognised qualifications; · college systems focussed on employability; · apprenticeship opportunities and advanced qualifications through work based learning; and · a systematic approach to business sector engagement.
Highland Council Members have agreed the terms of reference for a review of the Facilities Management model which is being rolled out in schools across the Highlands. In 2010 the Council previously agreed to take forward the Facilities Management model, the benefits of which were expected to: · create of a universal support function to assist Head Teachers with property and grounds management; · create a standardised operating model under specialist line management arrangements; · create standardised job descriptions ensuring a consistent approach to facilities management across all schools; and · is affordable within the Council's current budget allocation.
Two Highland Council roads and 12 schools remain closed or affected today (Monday 12 January) following the severe weather. Newhall Bridge B9163 on the Black Isle is closed until further notice, due to structural damage.
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