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Chance for volunteers to get involved during Scottish Biodiversity Week (10/05/11)
The Highland Council’s Wester Ross Ranger is looking for volunteers to get involved with some hands-on conservation work during Scottish Biodiversity Week. The invitation has been issued for people to come along on Saturday 21 May and take part in a day of ‘rhoddie-bashing’ on the Loch Maree Islands.
The Maree Islands are managed by SNH and are noted for their native pine woodland and the plant and insect life that this supports. Over recent years, the invasive non-native shrub Rhododendron ponticum has started spreading through the islands so intervention is required now to prevent it taking a real hold.
Ranger Lindsey Duncan said: “Left unchecked, Rhododendron ponticum develops a dense canopy supported by a tangle of woody stems which casts such a deep shade that nothing can grow underneath them, reducing the space available for native flowers, mosses, lichens and other wildlife. Some of these species are more abundant in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe, and a few are not found anywhere else.
“If you enjoy a bit of extreme gardening then this could be the event for you. With the help of SNH staff and the Highland Rhododendron Project Officer, we can hopefully prevent this invasive shrub becoming established here. It’s also a chance to spend some time on these very special islands and make a real contribution to their management.”
Places will be limited so for more information or to book, please call Lindsey Duncan on 01854 613904.
The Countryside Ranger team are part of The Highland Council’s Planning and Development Service and the rangers run many events and guided walks throughout the year which aim to help raise awareness and encourage appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands. Full details of guided walks and events running from now until the end of October are available from The Highland Council website www.highland.gov.uk.