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Caithness Volunteers go on the offensive against invasive plant species (16/09/09)
Caithness Countryside Volunteers had a hard day’s work on Sunday 13 September at Tister Farm, Halkirk.
The objective was to root out some salmonberry, an invasive plant that is adversely affecting the hawthorn hedges around the farm.
Salmonberry is a plant native to Alaska, and is related to the raspberry. The problem with the Salmonberry is that it overtakes all other vegetation, and it spreads rapidly.
The farm has been chosen by the Caithness Biodiversity Group to do some trials on the plant, to find out what the best way would be to tackle it. Part of the trial is rooting out the plant, which the volunteers carried out on one big patch in the hedge.
Dieter Tuerlinckx, Highland Council’s East Caithness Countryside Ranger said: “It was hard work, and we had to be careful not to damage the roots of the hawthorn as well. Four large trailer loads were pulled out using hand tools only. The trial will run for three years, and apart from pulling the weeds out, the group will also use some herbicides, so we can compare different techniques and find out what the most effective ones are.”
Anyone affected by salmonberry in any way, is invited to tel: 01955 607758 so the group can try to map out to what extent Caithness is affected by this plant.
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers are working together with Highland Council’s Countryside Rangers, who are part of the Council’s Planning and Development Service.
For more information go to http://caithnesscountrysidevolunteers.org/caithness/