Here we are…

by Admin, April 19

Welcome to our new blog!

We’d like to kick off by telling you a bit about the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI). We are a 4 year project (2017-2021) which aims to engage local people, volunteers, groups and communities with the control and management of Invasive Non-Native Species (sometimes referred to as INNS).

We are a partnership project; Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is our lead partner, and our other partners are 10 fishery trust/boards and the University of Aberdeen. Our funding is from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and SNH, with in-kind support from our fantastic volunteers.

Our project area is vast, covering nearly 30,000 km2 (which is an area larger than the country of Wales) so we are really working at a landscape scale. Our area includes Highland & Eastern Perthshire, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

We have a team project staff employed by the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative and work is also delivered by local staff from the fishery trusts/boards.

The SISI staff team (LtoR); James Symonds, Callum Sinclair, Vicky Hilton, Al Reeve and Mark Purrmann-Charles

We are dealing with a specific list of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) – Giant hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan balsam, American skunk cabbage, White buttebur and the American mink. All these plants and animals are causing damage to our native species, our countryside or to the way we live, so removing them will provide benefits to our native wildlife and local communities.

What we aim to do is to work with local people and local groups to support their involvement in invasive species control work. This includes provision of equipment, training opportunities and co-ordination of resources to build the capacity and skills within the communities, with the ambition that when our project finishes there will be enthused, inspired, qualified and equipped people out there to continue control work, giving a legacy and sustainability to our project.

We will also be working hard to raise awareness about invasive species and their impacts, through working in schools, producing films, going to local shows and talking to local groups, as we want more people to be engaged with, and care for, their local river environment.

You can read more about our project on our website http://www.invasivespecies.scot , follow us on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) or if you want to get in touch email us on; sisi@nature.scot