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Pretty but deadly...

We have been working on a number of construction sites this year supporting the contractors with Invasive Non-native Species (INNS). These are a wide range of plants (and animals) that have made their home here either as garden escapes or by hitching a ride in plant stock or transported unwittingly across the globe.

Himalayan Balsam showing flower and explosive seed pod - this plant can blanket large areas elbowing out native species particularly close to riparian habitats.

In Scotland, non-native species covered by Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 amended in 2012 when the section of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 became law. It is an offence to ‘release or allow to escape from captivity any animal to a place out with its native range or plant or otherwise cause to grow any plant in the wild out with its native range’.

Rhododendron shrub - this has taken over large areas of the west highlands shading out native species.

In practical terms when dealing with plants on site this means either avoiding tracking or excavating close to INNS with a suitable buffer, chemical treatment of the area ahead of works or removing the plant material all together. The plant material can either be buried on site or removed to a licensed disposal site where it will be properly contained.

Good quality survey information about extents of INNS on site is vital to allow sufficient time to identify the best option for control or avoidance.


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