One of the River Esk hogweed spotters was out for a walk and saw a large batch of the plant. Reckoned it was beside a burn which feeds into the Tyne and so he used the app on his mobile, recorded it, sent us his gpx file. This meant it was easy to go and investigate, and he was dead right on both counts - there were a dozen dead stems from last year complete with seed heads, fifty maturing plants. and hundreds of tiny shoots. It is on an embankment of the A68 and only feet away from the far upper reaches of the Bellyford Burn, which eventually feeds into the Tyne. We checked the burn a mile both up and downstream, and luckily it hasnt yet spread. But BEAR Scotland, who look after all the roads, have been urgently informed.
Following on from our Giant Hogweed eradication project on the River Tyne, the Inveresk Village Society are launching their own programme to tackle the plant on the River Esk, initially on its lower reaches in East Lothian. They will be looking for local spotters - so if you live closer to the Esk than the Tyne, why not offer to help? See more details on their website at InvereskVillage.wordpress.com.
Our Hogweed award arrives (at James' House in East Linton)
Our Giant Hogweed Eradication Programme was not just a finalist, but the winner of the Enhancing the Environment category in the Scottish Land and Estates Helping It Happen Awards! The full video of all the categories is here on YouTube. Our video starts at minute 31, and the winner is announced at min 32.20, the judges saying:
"... a brilliant initiative that really considers the long term impact of invasives. A great example of landowners and volunteers working together to enhance the environment..."
This is all due to the hard work of the farmers and the spotters, and especially James Wyllie for driving it all.