Under measures to support the changes to existing legislation by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 (WANE Act), SF 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 Phytophthora 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. 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.

Prioritising control of rhododendron

SF and SNH have worked together to identify priority areas for rhododendron control associated with woodland in Scotland, and produce supporting information and guidance.

The document makes it clear that responsibility for the removal of invasive non-native species, such as rhododendron, rests with landowners. However, support for landowners is available through SRDP under Forestry Grant Scheme and Agri-Environment Climate Scheme.