Scottish Solway INNS Control and Knowledge Programme

Over the years, various plants from around the world have been introduced to Scotland; either as a curiosity 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 Species (INNS). INNS are not restricted to plant species and are classified as plant, animal or fungus.

In areas where INNS colonise, negative impacts range from damaged ecosystems, reduced biodiversity, disruption to human activities, risk to human health and negative economic impacts.

Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT) has been treating INNS along the riverbanks throughout Dumfries and Galloway with the help of various funders for a number of years. Key target species have been Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Himalayan Balsam (Impatients glandulifera) and American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus).

With the support of the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, GFT is now delivering ‘Scottish Solway INNS Control and Knowledge Programme’.  This project started in 2022 and is supported by a full time Project Officer.

The project aims to work closely with stakeholders and local communities to deliver a co-ordinated and prioritised long term INNS control programme across Dumfries and Galloway covering up to nine river main catchments to protect designated and sensitive sites, focusing on the priority INNS species Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and American Skunk Cabbage. The project will also implement key actions in the Biosecurity Plan for the Kircudbrightshire Dee, helping to prevent the spread of signal crayfish and other aquatic INNS.

This project covers INNS in identified priority areas along rivers and tributaries.  If you require assistance with controlling INNS in other areas locally then GFT may still be able to help but not under this specific project.   For these areas please email to discuss.

INNS control is one of the key drivers of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, which aims to help improve biodiversity, make habitats more resilient to climate change and clear areas for riparian tree planting, protecting rivers from ever-increasing temperatures.

Areas where project work has commensed:

  • American Skunk Cabbage (ASC) surveying and control by the Glassoch Burn to protect River Bladnoch SAC for Atlantic Salmon
  • Japanese Knotweed surveys and control on the Water of Tarf to protect River Bladnoch SAC
  • Surveys of Japanese Knotweed on the Water of Luce and the Piltanton Burn and control programme planned
  • One planned Biosecurity Station by Loch Ken and ongoing discussion for further three stations
  • Ongoing discussions with landowners and stakeholders to a) undertake control of Giant Hogweed & Japanese Knotweed on Border Esk and b) ASC on Water of Fleet tributaries
  • Surveys and control of Giant Hogweed on the lower River Urr

Further details of some of these INNS control programmes are provided on Story Maps  below:

Japanese Knotweed project on the Water of Fleet

Giant Hogweed on the lower Urr

Tracy (Project Officer) is keen to get help from interested volunteers. 

To get in touch with her to organise volunteer opportunities or to find out more about the project please email

Nature Restoration Fund Partners


5 Year Biosecurity Management Plan
GFT produced a 5 years management plan for the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee for 2020-2024 outlining the desired approach to tacking Non-Native Invasive Species.



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