Under measures to support the changes to existing legislation by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE Act), FCS is working in partnership with others, particularly SNH, to control invasive rhododendron. We have initiated a programme that draws together the experiences and outcomes of past and current projects to create a comprehensive national strategy fit for our operational and policy needs. This work has added urgency because of the continued spread of Phytopthera pathogens on Rhododendron ponticum and the subsequent threat to trees, forests, plant nurseries, gardens and the wider countryside.
Independent review of rhododendron control
A key step in developing a national strategy has been to commission an independent critical review of rhododendron control projects in Scotland (PDF 1.1MB). The review, written by Coille Alba, reflects on the experiences and outcomes of rhododendron control projects, draws conclusions about current practice and published research, and offers recommendations for a national strategy and the potential for future funded support.
The next step is to build on this work, writing a national strategy that is fit for the operational and policy needs of FCS, SNH and the many other stakeholders with a keen interest in managing invasive Rhododendron. Progress on the strategy will be reported here.