Victorian Escapee Arrested - Giant Hog Weed Under Control
Giant Hogweed is an impressive plant from the Caucasus region of far eastern Europe which can grow up to 12 feet tall and can have a flower head up to a foot across. These impressive statistics made it a plant that was sought after for Victorian estate gardens. In the Highlands it is thought that the climate has limited the plant's spread from Victorian gardens and it is only found in a few places and, apart from the River Nairn, it does not cover a substantial area. But with our climate warming this could create the right conditions for further expansion of the Giant Hogweed along the rivers in Highland.
To stop this happening and to get this species under control work was started on the Balnagown River by the Cromarty Firth Fishery Trust and on the Auldearn Burn by the landowners there to control the plant. However this work stopped by 2009 so The Highland Council decided to identify the main areas of Giant Hogweed not under active control and secure funding to coordinate control.
A three-year grant was secured from SNH with match funding from the council to coordinate control of the Giant Hogweed on the Auldearn Burn and around Munlochy. A local land agent, Bowlts, was paid to contact all the owners and arrange access for a single contractor to spray all the sites in Spring. Each landowner payed for the spraying required on their ground.
At Munlochy, within just one year of spraying, there has been a noticeable difference in the cover of Giant Hogweed. At Auldearn the cover has reduced significantly since 2006 but there are still a few plants springing up due to the large seedbed and the fact the seeds can stay dormant for over 5 years, but it is very much under control.
In 2011 the Inverness Non-Native Plants Project started, partially funded by the Landfill Communities Fund, this is tackling species such as Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed in the Inverness area. In 2012 coordinated control works started on the River Nairn by The Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fishery Trust and the riparian landowners.
In 2012 a further 4 years of funding of Giant Hogweed Control coordination was secured from SNH with match funding from Highland Council. This will continue the work underway in Auldearn and Munlochy. This is a long term project but by acting now, a great deal of money will be saved both in terms of control costs and also reducing any income lost due to this plants impact on local businesses.
Photo from Wikipedia
See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_hogweed
Sam MacNaughton, The Highland Council’s Head of Transport and Infrastructure today (Friday) retires after 44 years service in local government during which time he has secured many millions of pounds of investment in the Highlands to improve the Highland transport network. Sam, who hails from Lochaber, is married to Anne and they have three daughters, Mairi, Sarah and Chirsty.
The Highland Council’s Trading Standards Officers are warning sun-lovers bound for Turkey not to be caught out by a new visa system which requires for a visa to be applied for before travel. Britons have always been issued with a visa stamp in their passports on arrival for a £10 fee, but this will begin to come to an end from 11 April 2014, meaning visitors will have to apply online for an electronic visa (e-Visa) before travel.
Highland Councillors are united in their support for proposed new legislation aimed at cutting accidents on our roads involving young drivers. Leaders of all political groupings on the Council back the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system for new drivers in Scotland, which would restrict their permissions in driving unsupervised until they have gained adequate experience.
The Highland Council has warmly welcomed publication of a report by The Care Inspectorate of their recent inspection of children’s services in the Highlands. This inspection, which took place in October and November 2013, covered the range of services in the Council area that provide services to children, young people and families, including education, health, social work, police and the voluntary sector.
The Highland Council today (Tuesday 1st April 2014) welcomes the commencement of the High Hedges (Scotland) Act, which brings into being new powers to resolve high hedge disputes between neighbours. Subject to certain criteria, people across Highland are now able to apply to the Council for a 'High Hedge Notice' where a hedge on neighbouring property is having an adverse impact on the enjoyment of their home or garden as a result of loss of light.
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Drew Hendry has praised the “stunning” success of the Council’s Homeless Prevention team in achieving a 53% reduction in homeless presentations and a 33% reduction in the use of temporary accommodation since their creation in June 2011. Speaking at the Highland Homelessness conference in Nairn today (Wednesday) Councillor Hendry revealed that the team has worked with 4,269 households, recording a 65% "success" rate in terms of homeless presentations prevented.
A new leadership group has been set up to drive forward a Highland Science Academy that will be a catalyst for bringing new jobs and ground-breaking educational and IT advances to the region. The move brings together The Highland Council, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands and Islands in a landmark partnership that will deliver a new and innovative programme of work-based learning, ranging from pre-school to higher education.
The Highland Council has reviewed its Community Challenge Fund one year after its introduction and agreed measures to encourage and support more community groups to bid into the £1 million fund. Three community groups have applied successfully for funding.
Pupils, parents and carers are being informed that the price of school meals will increase in Highland primary and secondary schools from Tuesday 22 April 2014 when pupils return from the Easter holidays and the new spring-summer menu starts. The price of a primary school two course traditional lunch will increase to £1.95 and for secondary schools to £2.15.
The Highland Council has agreed plans to implement a review of Customer Services. The Council has agreed to spend £68,500 from the Strategic Change and Development Fund to enhance the Council’s web site so that the public can conduct more transactions online and the Service Centre, which handles phone queries from customers.
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