The Carrick Invasive Species Project (CISP) is continuing to provide great training opportunities for local people throughout the Carrick region.
To date 31 people have taken up the free training to obtain their PA6AW spraying certificates which allows them to carry out herbicide spraying needed to tackle Japanese knotweed and eight people have attended the brushcutter/strimmer training giving them the skills to tackle large swaths of Himalayan balsam.
A sterling effort has been put in to date by these local volunteers who have dedicated up to 187 hours to Himalayan balsam clearance, 312 hours on Japanese knotweed spraying and up to 200 hours monitoring mink rafts across the Girvan and Stinchar river catchments.
Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed are two of our best known invaders, they grow fast, spread rapidly and once established in river catchments are a real challenge to eradicate.
The removal of these problem plants will allow the riverbanks to become restored with native vegetation and stabilised, improving the condition of this sensitive habitat in the long run.
Meryl Norris, Carrick Invasives Officer, said: “‘Prevention is better than cure’ has never been more relevant than when talking about invasive non-native species, the CISP has been and will continue to educate and promote good biosecurity amongst river users to help prevent the spread and introduction of other unwanted invaders.”
The next free course for volunteers to obtain their City and Guilds PA6AW spraying certificates will run over the 22nd and 23rd February in Girvan.
There will also be a LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmer course running over the 8th/9th March in Girvan. For more information including monitoring a mink raft please get in touch with Meryl at firstname.lastname@example.org, 07956426218, www.ayrshireriverstrust.org/cisp.