If you were out and about around Harris during the last few months it is possible you came across groups or individuals working to dig up or treat gunnera plants. Local volunteers, Sir E Scott pupils, the John Muir Trust and Glasgow University Students all mucked-in and helped NHT staff and contractors to treat the majority of the outlying populations of gunnera. This effort hopefully helped to limit further dispersal and whilst we were at it, field trials were set up to test a range of treatment techniques.
During the Winter months the gunnera will die back and remain dormant awaiting the Spring, but we will be using this time to plan for next year’s campaign and could do with the help of locals to establish exactly where to go and look for plants. North Harris Trust has been mapping the locations of gunnera and other non-native invasive plants. The areas covered can be seen here. At the moment our mapping coverage is limited to North Harris, but the project covers the whole of the island and we aim to add South Harris maps as soon as possible.
Use the links below to check out the known distribution of gunnera in your area:
Note, at this stage the markers on these maps do not necessarily represent individual plants. They are just highlighting areas we need to visit. If you feel there are gaps and we may be missing plants, then please let us know. Email Ordnance Survey grid references, or mark the locations on the map and forward to us. It is crucial for success that all the plants are treated within each population. As this project progresses it will become harder and harder to find the remaining plants and the more ‘local eyes’ we have the better.
Whilst dealing with gunnera it makes sense to work on the other non-native invasive plants at the same time. So please also report any un-mapped sightings of piri-piri burr, himalayan balsam and himalayan knotweed.
Anyone interested in the Harris Gunnera project can now download a copy of this year’s report.
If you would like to get involved or even if you’d just like to be kept informed of progress, forward your email address to us and you’ll be added to the mailing list.
Thankyou to all those who have already given their time to this project and to Scottish Natural Heritage and the Harris Community Councils for funding support.
Enquiries to: Gordon Cumming, Land Manager