Wanted: Your Help Spotting Giant Hogweed!

It may be attractive to look at, but Giant Hogweed can cause a very nasty burn. So we are eliminating it from the entire length of the river Tyne. But we need your help with spotting and recording the plants, so that the farmers who deal with them know where to look, and don't miss a single one (one flower can easily produce hundreds of new plants).

No experience is necessary - you'll quickly get to recognise the plant, and ideally we go out in pairs. You just need the odd half day free over the spring/summer, and be willing to get your wellies dirty! See the full story at //www.elcv.org.uk/tasks/invasives/the-program/


Will you help?

Email us at




How much do you know about Giant Hogweed?

Complete the quiz and win a prize!

Get them all right and you win a fantastic prize!

Get any wrong and you still win a prize!

Improve your chances of winning by
first viewing our Hogweed page

What Prizes? Depends how many right answers you get:
>90%: You may spot for THE project whenever you like
80-90%: 1 free THE-Spotting training day
<80%: As many THE training days as you like!

Email us at hogweed@elcv.org.uk to claim your prize

Scottish National Heritage Support

Scottish National Heritage (SNH) have very sensibly donated the princely sum of £1000 "To support the delivery of a catchment scale INNS project, primarily controlling Giant Hogweed in the River Tyne catchment, East Lothian". We are very grateful. This will be distributed amongst the various farmers to help defray their not inconsiderable labour and material costs in tackling the nasty invasive Giant Hogweed.

Giant Hogweed – Breaking News!

Phase 1 of our long-term Tyne Hogweed Eradication Programme is complete - the last Giant Hogweed plant growing this year on the River Tyne was removed on Thursday at 11.25! We know there are still many seeds lurking from previous years' flowerings, which will germinate in the coming years, but this year we reckon we have caught every plant in time (some just in time!), so hopefully no new seeds have entered the eco-system.

This is all due to the tremendous efforts by James Wyllie and all the farmers and landowners along the route, and by the volunteers who spotted, recorded, dead-headed and dug up. It is a consequence of piecemeal and increasing action over past years, fostered by the ELC Countryside Rangers, resulting in the establishment in February 2019 of THE programme to tackle it in earnest. See the full story on our Tyne Hogweed Eradication Program page

If we maintain the momentum, in five years time we may have won this fight!

We are very grateful to Bayer-UK and to Scottish Natural Heritage for their material and financial support.

All the Sightings in 2019

Click on either image to see an interactive map

Status on August 1

Why a Giant Hogweed project?

However careful you are with Giant Hogweed, it is not enough! Fully gloved up for some dead-heading at Tyninghame a couple of weeks ago. But 3 days afterwards see the photo of my wrist. And the same area 2 weeks later.

The only explanation I can think of is that I looked at my watch, by moving the elasticated sleeve of my glove away using the other gloved hand, which had sap on it. I have since got much better gloves!

THE Major Milestone

We have achieved a major milestone in our Tyne (Giant) Hogweed Eradication programme by completing our first survey of the whole river and its tributaries from source to sea.
We found 250 locations with Giant Hogweed: x100 single plants, and 150 where there were several, of which 25 had more than 5 plants, and 4 areas which had over 100!
We also spotted 100 patches of Japanese Knotweed, sizes ranging from 1 to 300 sqm, in total 4,000 sqm.

Now we wait for the hard work of the landowners as they spray or dig up these infestations, all organised by local farmer James Wyllie. Before we survey again later in the year, to spot all those which have been missed!

See the map at tasks/invasives/the-program/the-map/

ELCV Website Launched

Well, the East Lothian Countryside Volunteers finally have a live website!

Hopefully you will find it useful as a news feed, for reference, and especially the Dates page. It's also geared towards attracting new volunteers - we can always do with more help: share it with the buttons in the footer of any page. 

Have a good look round. And let us know what you think - all comments are helpful, whether suggestions or criticism (or praise!). 

Many thanks to all those who have contributed - both with comments, text and images, especially Duncan, Nick, Sam, Tara, Katty, most charity trustees, Ben for javascript, Kualo for site hosting, and the rangers whose social media has been shamelessly borrowed.