Scottish Invasive Species Initiative development
Rivers and Fisheries Trust of Scotland (RAFTS) has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and support from Scottish Natural Heritage to develop the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative. This has allowed RAFTS to progress with producing a detailed proposal for a second round application which will be submitted in 2016. If successful, the 4 year Scottish Invasive Species Initiative will begin in 2016.
This ambitious Initiative will create a network of volunteers and support local organisations to control several invasive non-native species (INNS) across a 29,500 square km area in the north of Scotland; including the Spey, focussing on rivers, lochs and riparian corridors. On top of managing these invasive non-native species, the project aims to help local people take care of their local rivers and riparian habitats restoring them to a more native, natural state. Volunteers will learn about the targeted species and gain skills in the various techniques used to survey and control them.
The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative will build on good practice from successful landscape-scale single species projects and catchment-based multi-species projects. Evidence from these projects demonstrates that strategic approaches over large geographic areas represent the most effective means of dealing with INNS. Ensuring the local communities and organisation possess the skills and knowledge will enable long term conservation and protection of our rivers and riparian habitats.
Scotland’s rivers, burns, lochs and pools support many iconic Scottish species like Atlantic salmon, osprey and otter, as well as the endangered freshwater pearl mussel. They also form part of an incredible landscape that attracts millions of tourists a year to Scotland, helping to boost our economy, and providing the country with vital services such as drinking water, electricity generation and flood protection. Invasive species are a growing threat to the environment and the services it provides. The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative will ensure that we can protect Scotland’s natural landscape from the negative impacts of INNS, not only for the benefit of the local communities but also for visitors.
Do you want to get involved?
During the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative development phase, we would like to hear from you and get your input. We’d like to hear about how you enjoy your local rivers and lochs and about your experience with volunteering. This feedback will help inform the activity planning process and allow us to develop opportunities for you to enjoy, learn about and protect your local rivers and lochs. Please spare a few minutes to complete this short online survey to help us record your input: which can be found here.