Saturday, March 22, 2014

Another Knotweed spring looms for the River Nairn

Gurn opinion:
In a recent edition of a local weekly newspaper the increasing problem of Japanese Knotweed is once again highlighted in an article entitled “Creeping weed menace that threatens Nairn's buildings”. The newspaper points out that Japanese Knotweed can damage buildings and thus has a consequence on property values. A very real problem then but its unchecked advance in recent years has also meant that native flora on the riverbank has been losing out and there follows a further effect between the complex relationship between what goes on in the river and on the riparian area nearby –  the entire ecology of the river suffers as a result of the knotweed and also the abundance of Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed (the latter two much easier to deal with however) . 

Rupert Furze is quoted: “I wonder what the Highland Council is doing about the rapid expansion of this weed along the banks of the Nairn? Were I a householder in that part of the town I would certainly be anxious.” More on page 3 of this week's edition of the Nairnshire Telegraph. 

Obviously there will have to be a spraying campaign on the town centre stretch of the River Nairn, at least in those areas where the invasive weed is close to buildings. If the will is not there to tackle it generally however then prepare for the sight in a few years time when a Japanese Knotweed monoculture conquers the entire riverside – a vision that isn't too many years in the future. 

The Gurn reported in two years ago on the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fishery's initiative to tackle invasive species. Here is the article complete with two videos including a speech at the Howford from Fergus Ewing. The Gurn understands that there has been spraying of affected areas on the River Nairn since then but in the town centre the only area seriously treated so far seems to be the spot between the A96 bridge and the sewage bridge which fell under the regeneration project that River CC undertook. There was a Highland Council representative at the Fishery's launch so presumably they subscribe to a multi-agency approach to dealing with the problem. The Council sprays Hogweed every year on the town centre riverbanks but the knotweed is left in peace. Admittedly there are cost issues and it would be a 4-5 year programme but it will have to be done in the very near future. 

It may be that if the community has a desire to see the Knotweed removed, property protected  and a more favourable ecology restored then citizens will have to get involved themselves. Maybe NICE could provide a route or perhaps the Social Enterprise initiative mooted by Simon Noble of River CC might even provide a long term answer should either of those two organisations respective plans ever get off the drawing board. 

Previous Gurn articles below. 


Weirs Way said...

It would make a big difference Graisg if we were to got the help from the Findhorn Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Trust, and Nairn Angling Association, and all the local Community Councils, to get funding ie a Grant for Weed Killer and for all of them to get involved for to spray the areas that are needing sprayed on the riverside in Nairn and other areas that are affected by the Knotweed. Heres hoping they read this and do something about it.

growtosow said...

we should be looking after the riverside so we can all enjoy it. was good to see it this year after we had split some of the snowdrops and planted them on the cawdor side of the river. yesterday i planted some primrose plants so hope to see them at some point. some more colour for this side of the river any way.

Looksharp said...

@Weirs way 10:30pm

Have the Fisheries Trust not already
received a substantial grant to carry out these works.?

tales of the... said...

@ growtoso

Which side of the river is the Cawdor one? I thought the whole river flowed from Cawdor not just one side?

growtosow said...

tales of the... said...
@ growtoso

Which side of the river is the Cawdor one? I thought the whole river flowed from Cawdor not just one side?

7:24 it is the path on the left hand side of the river and has a sign post telling you this. hope this helps

Anonymous said...

@ 7:24

I think you might need a little more info than 'the left hand side' :-)

If you stand on the bridge on the A96 looking upstream (south) the left river bank is the one that has the footpath that leads to Cawdor.

Weirs Way said...

@Looksharp yes the Trust received a £75.000 Grant from Sepa for to promote the awareness of Giant Hogweed,Japanes Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam on the river Nairn. The project is part of the Scotland wide initiative coordinated by the Rivers and Fisheries Trust of Scotland.

A ray of hope said...

Can anybody tell me was the river Nairn sprayed last year 2013 with weedkiller for Knotweed as i never saw anybody doing any spraying apart from two people in the lower stretches of the river doing it of there own back. I never saw anybody from any of the Trusts spraying the river apart from in 2012. I would like to know why wasnt it treated last year.I did see the Council workers doing some tidying up on the river ie cutting the grass when it was overgrown because nobody could walk up the top end of the river opposite Firhall. Heres hoping they dont leave it until its to late this year.

Brian Turner said...

It seems ironic that we have a healthy Nairn Common Good fund and windfarm money coming in - and yet there's no organised funding for dealing with a specific problem for the town such as this??