Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT) was one of five Scottish partners, led by the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) alongside the Ayrshire Rivers Trust, Argyll Fisheries Trust and the Tweed Forum that had successfully secured EU Interreg support for a £2.6 million initiative (with £1.2 million attributed to the Scottish Partners) to control and if possible eradicate on a catchment scale various alien riverbank plants.
This was achieved by developing best control techniques in cross-border collaboration with Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland in the Republic of Ireland and the Scottish partners.
The project began on the 1st of September 2010 (and concluded December 2014) and set out to manage and control effectively the regeneration of the plants and to demonstrate the improved ecosystem services and economic benefits resulting from their removal.
Invasive non native species infestation and management within Galloway is a priority issue within the Solway Tweed River Basin District as set out in the draft River Basin Management Plan and North Solway Area Management Plan.
These plans together set out strategic (River Basin District scale) and local (Area Management Plan scale) priorities, implementation and detail as part of the Water Framework Directive river basin planning process. Invasive non native species are also identified as priorities generating management provisions and measures in the Dumfries and Galloway Local Biodiversity Action Plan and the Galloway Fisheries Trust Fisheries Management Plan.
During the Autumn/Winter of 2010, GFT surveyed the Waters of Luce, Bladnoch, Fleet, Dee and Urr for the presence of Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.
Over the term of the project, particularly within the first 2 years, further locations of invasive non native plant species were reported to GFT. These were either on tributaries or in ‘high risk’ locations such as roadsides by bridges. GFT believe that this was in response to efforts of raising awareness of the legal implications, human health factors, environmental damages and best practices via ITV News, social media, signage, website and local press.
In Galloway the majority of the work was focused on controlling Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed from across five catchments; Water of Fleet, Water of Luce, Rivers Bladnoch, Urr and the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee. During the project, GFT added the Chlenry Burn, Piltanton Burn, Moneypool Burn, Balloch Burn and the Kirkgunzeon Lane to the control plan. This was thanks to community engagement and the allowance of resources once the project was established on the 5 core rivers.
One main aspect of the project was to engage with the local community; therefore GFT and the project was able to fund the training and qualification of 12 volunteers to City and Guilds Pesticide Application, levels PA1, PA6 and PA6aw. The control work was undertaken by qualified GFT staff, contractors and volunteers, which included both knapsack spraying and stem injecting herbicide.
GFT had allocated each individual river with a specific control method that was based on plant development, location and timing. A total of 30,700m2 of Japanese knotweed and Giant hogweed was controlled each year. In the late summer of 2013 and early 2014, GFT resurveyed the watercourses and found that in each area there was an average of ~86% reduction in size. This was at the mid-way point of the control work and already shown the work to being a success. Now the project has finished, GFT plan to resurvey the areas in the spring of 2015.
GFT are always keen to hear from anyone that has reports of Japanese Knotweed, Giant hogweed or Himalayan Balsam locations near watercourses in Galloway. This can be done via our reporting website – www.inns.rafts.org.uk.
In addition, you can report a location anywhere in Scotland, riverbank or otherwise. The website is linked to various other Fishery and River Trusts, and each share the reported data with local authorities and government agencies.