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
Over the years, various plants from around the world have been brought to Scotland, either for populating botanical gardens or accidentally when importing goods. Most of these plants do not survive well in Scotland, but unfortunately a few do colonise and become invasive, then known as Invasive Non-Native Plant Species (INNPS). These plants have a negative impact on the local ecology and economy.
The three main species in Galloway are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.
GFT are undertaking two new projects in the region to control riverbank INNPS, the Galloway Community Invasive (GCI) Project and the Border Esk Community Invasive (BECI) Project. Both these projects will be co-ordinated by GFT, but the main driving force behind them will be local community involvement. Volunteers will assist GFT with surveying, monitoring and controlling areas of INNPS, both in Galloway and Eskdale.
The GCI project has been developed to continue the work GFT carried out within the CIRB project on the Galloway rivers. These works includes the resurvey and monitor the success of the control work of more than 25,700m2 of Japanese Knotweed which was carried out in the CIRB project on the waters Luce, Bladnoch, Fleet, Dee and Urr, and tackle any regrowth recorded. In addition to this, the GCI project will continue the ongoing control of 4,300m2 of Giant Hogweed on the River Urr. Giant Hogweed is an annual plant that spreads by seed – it is important that control work is carried out annually to stop new growth/seeding. Local volunteers will assist GFT in carrying out a survey to map the presence of Himalayan balsam on riverbanks, and prepare a control plan.
The BECI project is the first INNPS control project to be carried out on the Border Esk catchment. In the summer of 2014, GFT were supported by the Eskdale community to survey more than 140km of river bank to record nearly 1,400m2 of Japanese Knotweed, 130m2 of Giant Hogweed and unfortunately more than 20,000m2 of Himalayan Balsam. The BECI project aims to train five local volunteers to City and Guilds ‘Pesticide Application’ to levels PA1 and PA6AW. In addition to this, a further fifteen to twenty volunteers will be trained in the identification and methods of control without the use of pesticides – such as hand pulling and strimming.
Both the GCI and BECI projects will:
These projects have been part funded by the following organisations.