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Scottish Invasive Species Initiative

A 4-year partnership project tackling invasive non-native species alongside rivers and water courses in northern Scotland.

 

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) is an exciting 4-year partnership project tackling invasive non-native species alongside rivers and water courses in northern Scotland.  We are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and through in-kind support from project partners and volunteers - the total project value is some £3.24M.

The project area is vast, some 29,500km2 - over a third of Scotland and almost one and half times the size of Wales - and encompasses Perthshire, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland. View a map of the project area.

SNH leads the project partnership of ten fishery trusts / boards and the University of Aberdeen.

Invasive non-native species (INNS) can be responsible for the decline of native species, increases in bank erosion and flood risk and impact on recreational activities in freshwater and riparian areas.  Therefore it is important we take coordinated action now.

The target and priority invasive species

The target species for the SISI project are Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, American skunk cabbage, White butterbur and the American mink.

We support, train and equip volunteers with the skills and equipment they need to control invasive species locally by and in communities.  We hope that local community control of invasive species will continue after our project ends in October 2021 - a sustainable long-term solution to control.

SISI work is covering five main areas of activity

  • Invasive plant control - with the help of volunteers, we are removing and treating Himalayan balsam, Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, American skunk cabbage and White butterbur.
  • American mink control - we are building on previous projects by monitoring and trapping to remove mink with the help of a large and dedicated network of volunteers.
  • Creating a volunteer network - we are investing time and support in building a network of enthusiastic volunteers, providing them with skills, training and qualifications (at no cost).
  • Raising awareness of invasive species - through education programmes for schools and community groups we are helping people to discover the importance of the river environment and the impacts of invasive species.
  • Promoting biosecurity we promote good biosecurity practice to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Find out more

If you are interested in getting involved have a look at the volunteering pages on our website, or get in touch with any other member of the project team – they will be keen to help you. 

Or you can email us at sisi@nature.scot to get the ball rolling.