Welcome to the reporting page of the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland Biosecurity and Invasive Species Programme. At present this reporting page is only designed to collect data within the boundaries of the areas of operation of the Argyll, Galloway, Esk Rivers and Cromarty Firth Fisheries Trusts, Ayrshire Rivers Trust, The River Forth Fisheries Trust and Tweed Forum. The boundaries of these areas are shown in yellow on the map below.

 

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Recent Sightings

  • 210 *Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
  • 119 *Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
  • 339 *Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
  • 12 *Rhododendron ponticum
  • 3 Australian swamp stonecrop (Crassula helmsii)

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Common Invasive Non Native Species

Aquatic: Australian swamp stonecrop (Crassula helmsii)
AKA: New Zealand Pygmyweed. Can be submerged, emergent and terrestrial. Readily recognisable when growing at the edges of water bodies by its fleshy leaves. Submerged leaves are less easy to see and recognise. Reproduces from very small stem fragments but does not produce viable seed in the UK. Widespread in England and Wales. Spreading northwards, though much less common in Scotland. Very common in the south-east of England.
Aquatic: Canadian pondweed (Elodea canadensis)
There are two non-native species of Waterweed Elodea species in the UK, Canadian waterweed Elodea canadensis and Nuttall’s waterweed Elodea nuttallii. Both are aquatic, submerged (apart from tiny white flowers borne on very long threadlike stalks just above the water surface) growing up to 3 m in length, perennial and only reproduce vegetatively in the UK as all plants are female. Canadian waterweed is widespread and common throughout the UK. Nuttall’s waterweed occurs mainly in England.
Aquatic: Curly Water Weed (Lagarosiphon major)
AKA: Curly Water-thyme, Elodea crispa. A perennial, aquatic plant which can grow up to 3 m completely submerged under the water in chalk, gravel and clay pits, lakes, reservoirs and canals. Leaves are strongly curved and whorled around the stem though are spirally arranged on the lower part of stem. Widespread through lowland England.
Aquatic: Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)
Free-floating or rooted. The characteristic leaves and growth form help to make this plant easy to identify. It is found mostly in the south-east of England and occasionally in the north-west of England and Wales. Spreading rapidly.
Plant: *Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Easy to identify when fully grown by height, size of leaves and size of flowers. Can be confused with native hogweed when not fully grown or when growth is stunted (e.g. regrowth after cutting). Widespread and common across much of the UK. Extensive infestations are found particularly in Scotland and the north of England. Less abundant in Cornwall. Often associated with large rivers.
Plant: *Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
AKA: Policeman’s Helmet, Indian Balsam. A tall, attractive, annual herb with explosive seed heads. Although easy to identify as a mature plant with its pink-purple flowers, fleshy stem and characteristic leaves, the seedlings and last year’s dead stems of this annual are more difficult to spot. Widespread and common across the whole of the UK. Primarily on riverbanks and in other damp areas.
Aquatic: Hooked asparagus seaweed (Asparagopsis armata)
AKA: Harpoon Weed. The sexual plant is rosy, yellowish pink or whitish pink, erect and spreading, with many feathery branches; up to 30 cm tall with some branches developing as conspicuous harpoon-like barbed structures up to 10 mm long. The asexual plant is rosy pink, filamentous, and forms fine wooly balls 10 - 20 mm in diameter. The barbed gametophyte stage of the harpoon weed is only common at south western locations, but the tetrasporophyte phase (known as ‘Falkenbergia’) has spread north to Shetland.
Plant: Japanese kelp (Laminaria japonica)
Plant: *Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Tall herbaceous perennial with bamboo like stems. Often grows into dense thickets. Characteristic leaves and stems, persistence of last year’s dead canes and distinctive rhizome (underground root-like stems) enables year round identification. Widespread and common across the UK. Notably extensive infestations are found in the south-west of England, south Wales and Greater London, however similarly extensive populations can also be found elsewhere.
Aquatic: Japanese seaweed (Sargassum muticum)
AKA: Japweed, Strangle weed, Wireweed.
Aquatic: Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
AKA: Brazilian Watermilfoil. Emergent growth, blue-green colour and feather-like leaves make this a distinctive water plant. Present year round. Unlikely to be found in fast flowing water. Mainly a lowland plant. Widespread in south of England, spreading northwards. Rare in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Aquatic: Red Californian seaweed (Pikea californica)
Plant: *Rhododendron ponticum
A large evergreen shrub with leathery leaves, attractive purple to pink flowers and solid stems forming into a trunk when mature. Relatively easy to identify, but can be confused with cherry laurel or horticultural varieties of rhododendron. Widespread across the whole of the UK, most common in the south and west.
Aquatic: Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)
AKA: Fairy Fern. Very small free-floating water plant that forms dense mats. Unmistakeable when in its red form and relatively easy to distinguish from duckweeds in its green form. Can be seen most months of the year. Spreads mainly vegetatively though can produce minute spores. Sporadic distribution in southern and central England. Has spread north to Yorkshire and into Wales but relatively few locations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Aquatic: Water Primrose (Ludwigia grandiflora)
AKA: Often incorrectly identified as L. grandiflora and labelled in garden centres as Jussiaea. Quite distinctive in floating form, more care is needed to distinguish it from other species when it is growing in the margins of water bodies. Flowers from July to August. Vegetation dies back in winter leaving distinctive brown stems. Has been present at a limited number of sites across the British Isles although it has been eradicated from some of these.
Aquatic: Wakame (Undularia pinnatifida)
AKA: Japanese Kelp. A large brown seaweed, the stipe has very wavy edges or ‘ruffles’ at the base, giving it a corrugated appearance. The blade is broad and flattened with a distinct midrib. The margins of the blade are wavy and ribbon-like at the base. Individuals can reach an overall length of one to three metres. Has been recorded from the Hamble (Solent), Isle of Wight, Torquay, Plymouth and Jersey.
Plant: Ragwort (Senecio jacobea)
Plant: Buddleia (Buddleia davidii)
A medium to large perennial shrub with long arching branches. The lilac/purple (sometimes white) flowers occur in dense pyramidal shaped panicles, which produce large quantities of nectar. The opposite leaves are lance shaped, deep green above and white-tomentose below. An increasing, naturalised garden escape, that is especially prevalent on urban and disturbed sites.
Plant: Water Buttercup (Ranunculus spp)
Plant: North American Skunk Cabbage (Lysichton americanus)
The plant has a basal rosette of leathery leaves, up to 1m long. Produces yellow flowers in spring. Prefers a wet woodland habitat where it grows on bare or partly-vegetated, nutrient-rich mud.
Plant: Himalayan knotweed (Polygonum polystachum)
Perennial plant growing up to 1.8m,with pinkish or white flowers. The leaves are kanceolate, up to 20cm long, with sheaths surrounding the stem at the base of their stalks. Found mostly throughout damp grasslands and streamsides.
Plant: Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
Plant: Pirri-pirri bur (Acaena aserinifolia/Acaena novae-zelandiae)
A prostrate creeping stoloniferous, branching, dwarf shrub. Emits stems 2-15cm high that are woody at base. Bright glossy green leaves with solitary, globose flowers. Fruits ripen in September to form red burs. Found on lowland sparsely vegetated, moderately disturbed sites, particularly sand dunes.
Plant: Common cord grass (Spartina anglicum)
Plant: Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)
Plant: Large flowered waterweed (Egeria densa)
Plant: Monkey flower (Mimulus spp)
Aquatic: Nuttall's Pondweed (Elodea nuttallii)
There are two non-native species of Waterweed Elodea species in the UK, Canadian waterweed Elodea canadensis and Nuttall’s waterweed Elodea nuttallii. Both are aquatic, submerged (apart from tiny white flowers borne on very long threadlike stalks just above the water surface) growing up to 3 m in length, perennial and only reproduce vegetatively in the UK as all plants are female. Canadian waterweed is widespread and common throughout the UK. Nuttall’s waterweed occurs mainly in England.
Plant: Conifer - Non native
Plant: Coneflower (Rudbeckia spp)
Plant: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Deciduous shrub, up to 3m high. Leaves 2-4cm long, dull green and glabrous, simple. Flowers in dense pink terminal spikes. Found in woods, hedges, scrub and wasteground.
Plant: Ninebark (Physocarpus spp)
Plant: Butterbur - Non native

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