Breakthrough for Volunteers

Loch Lomond NNR

Over many years staff and volunteers have put their heart and soul into helping SNH tackle the Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) at Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. It has been a major job but this autumn  they finally saw light at the end of the tunnel!

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Tackling invasive plants is not for the faint hearted: there has been sweat, sometimes tears, getting attacked by midges, jumping over deep ditches, having to rely on fellow volunteers to help get pulled out of sticky (muddy!) situations, some wet feet and some careful thought about eating our home baking, but all the effort is now showing results!

Looking at the Himalayan Balsam as our example, the work from this and previous years is showing its effects:

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Over the summer of 2016 our volunteers working across the reserve found and pulled 35,996  plants but this year when they returned in 2017 found only 4434 plants!!  The worst affected part looked completely different with numbers having drastically reduced.

It just shows how important it has been to count and record the INNS work being done as only by recording all the work can you see how the plant numbers are dropping. And even better is to see the pleased faces of the some of the long-term volunteers. It was down to their hard work that got us closer to tackling this invasive on the reserve. When the staff and volunteers first started the task it must have seemed like an impossible job but this is the proof that keeping at it works in the end.

But we can’t relax, as Himalayan Balsam will always be a problem on the NNR and will need continual vigilance and checking .

This is something tangible that shows what the hard work of staff and volunteers can achieve – thanks to them all including Andrew, Jonathan, Ralph, Kev, Steve, Nick, Amee, David and Ian along with all the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park volunteers.

 

 

 

 

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