By Lucy Ashton
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park have secured funding through NatureScot’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund to carry out “invasive species control” around Inversnaid on the east side of Loch Lomond.
This work will see the removal of “invasive” rhododendron to help protect and enhance the areas of Scotland’s rainforests found in the National Park which are internationally important habitats.
The Park authority states that Invasive rhododendron is one of the key threats to the native woodland at Inversnaid.
“Rhododendron grows into huge bushes with thick vegetation that blocks out sunlight and smothers most other wild plants and trees, stopping them from growing or regenerating. Its removal is a critical initial step to ensure these woodlands are healthy and can continue to adapt and remain resilient in the face of both the Global Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis, ” said a Park Authority spokesperson this week.
She added: “Rhododendron spreads by seed movement so, in order for the project to be successful and sustainable, we need to remove all the rhododendron present around Inversnaid. We are working with the surrounding land owners to achieve landscape-scale change.
“The initial work will be starting in February 2021 and will be carried out over the next two years. It will mainly be completed by contractors due the challenging terrain.
“The work will have some short term visual impacts in the area resulting from the initial clearance but over time the native ground flora and tree seedlings will re-establish.
“Following this initial work, the National Park Authority has committed to carry out follow up treatment for the subsequent 10 years to ensure the project is sustainable in the long term.”
Loch Lomond Park chief executive Gordon Watson. Top: The loch’s east shore looking north towards Inversnaid.
This project will help deliver objectives in both our Wild Park action programme and Trees and Woodland Strategy and will contribute to the strategy agreed by the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforests to help protect this important woodland for the future.
The project will also contribute to the Strathard and Trossachs landscape rhododendron control programme which has been under way for the last six years, as well as continuing the existing partnership working between private landowners, Strathard Community Council, NatureScot and Forestry and Land Scotland in the Strathard area.
If you have any queries about the project please contact the Park’s Trees and Woodland Advisor Simon Franks at email@example.com.