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Call for Hogweed patches to be recorded

By David Porter

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Across Aberdeenshire, the proliferation of Giant Hogweed has continued to be a long fought battle and locals are being called on to help.

Warning over giant hogweed
Warning over giant hogweed

Across the north-east, the invasive species has been found alongside almost every major water course including the Deveron, Don, Ury and Ythan rivers.

With a combination of warm and relatively dry weather, areas where treatment was taking place in previous years have suffered a major set back with the coronavirus putting paid to many treatment efforts.

Along the tributaries of the Don, by example stretching from Oyne to Inverurie, patches which have already reached flowering hight can be seen at several locations.

While spraying has been the preferred method of treatment, on the Deveron sheep were used in one area next Macduff Distillery to tackle the problem.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshrie Council said: “Unfortunately we have been unable to treat Giant Hogweed this year, or indeed other invasive weeds, across Aberdeenshire.

"A sole exception is one location in Inverurie where it was growing immediately adjacent a busy footway.

"The weed is too large to spray, plus it has already flowered and is setting seed.

"There is unfortunately no practical and effective treatment we can carry out at this time.

"The Landscape team is monitoring the situation and meeting with local environmental groups on an effective treatment plan, with a view to commence operations early next spring.”

Warning over giant hogweed
Warning over giant hogweed

Hogweed can be found growing predominantly in two varieties, Common Hogweed which has a characteristic pig-like smell of the flowers which gives it its name and its much more dangerous look-a-like, the invasive non-native Giant Hogweed.

While sap from Common Hogweed can give you skin irritation, Giant Hogweed can lead to life long blistering which remain sensitive to sunlight.

Warning over giant hogweed
Warning over giant hogweed

Giant Hogweed has highly visible purple blotches on its stem whereas Common Hogweed can sometimes have a wash of light purple.

A comparison can be found at http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=47

Anyone who has seen common hogweed is asked to record it a http://www.nesbrec.org.uk/recording-services/online-form/ as it is considered to be one of the top 10 pollinator species in the UK.

Finds of Giant Hogweed should be recorded via https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/invasive-plants/

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