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PE01586: Statutory control measures for Invasive Non-Native Species

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: James A Mackie on behalf of Innes Community Council


Date Lodged: 27 November 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 to include statutory powers enforced by penalties to force land owners/tenants to destroy invasive non-native species that grow on their lands.

Petition History:


15 December 2015: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Link to Official Report 15 December 2015

23 February 2016: The Committee agreed to include the petition in its legacy paper for consideration by the Session 5 Public Petitions Committee. In doing so, the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Link to Official Report 23 February 2016

29 September 2016: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Rule 15.7 of Standing Orders on the basis that existing legislation provides adequate powers to address the issue raised by the petition and that stakeholders supported a coordinated approach to invasive non-native species management. Link to Official Report 29 September 2016

Written Submissions:

The spread of invasive non-native species is having a serious impact on Rural Scotland. These INNS are noxious and destroying our countryside. They choke out native species thus reducing the beauty of the countryside as well as having a negative impact on insects, birds and wild animals. By their method of smothering all other fauna they are part of the cause of an increase in river bank erosion leading to other major environmental, economic and social problems. In the aquatic environment INNS are having a major and dramatic adverse impact on native species of plants, fish and invertebrates. Land owners should be legally liable to control these INNS without recourse to public funds in the way of grants. The land owners could still use volunteer labour where such agreements can be made but they must be responsible for all costs and training. If tighter controls against landowners were in place, the problem would recede quickly and permanently.

As chairperson of Lennox Community Council which covesr Fochabers to Portgordon by Buckie in the North East of Scotland the subject of Hogweed is constantly on our agenda and we feel we are fighting a losing battle trying to contain it. It is a huuge problem on the banks of the river spey.

Maureen Burrows

15:47 on 25 Nov 2015

This petition is well over due and I hope that it will bring much needed action this problem which if not taken will create the country side a no go area. They are dangerous I say this because I have experienced their debilitating effect every summer for well over 18 years. I can assure you it is not pleasant.

Lansana Bangura

0:55 on 31 Oct 2015

The rapid spread of Giant Hogweed has been worrying me for years.

Margaret C. McConachie

14:48 on 25 Oct 2015

There is no doubt that prompt action is required to ensure INNS are tackled across Scotland. Some voluntary attempts have been made but these have been mostly in small areas and very often towards the mouth of a river eg River Spey. Unfortunately such work is largely ineffective as re-seeding occurs when seeds are transmitted, mainly by water, from further upstream. Most burns, rivers and waterways are now badly affected - mostly by giant hogweed and little effort is made to change the situation. Obviously hoping this work gets done voluntarily has not worked. One really wonders where non-action is leading and what state the countryside will be in and how many people will feel the very painful and ongoing effects of these plants unless legislation is set in place to ensure landowners destroy INNS at source. Legislation should give authority to the appropriate bodies which should be tasked with starting work with landowners at the headwaters of waterways, overseeing the eradication of INNS on such land and working downstream so that no further waterborne re-seeding can occur. Legislation also requires to be strong enough that it is not less costly for landowners to refuse to do the work on eradication.

Alastair G Kennedy

16:17 on 23 Oct 2015

Eradicate Invasives

Michael REID

22:44 on 21 Oct 2015

I am appalled that particularly Giant Hogweed has been allowed to get so out of hand in this area, and commend Innes Community Council for submitting this petition.

MARGARET E. Anderson

21:52 on 16 Oct 2015

time to clean up all the rivers in Scotland, make them excess able to fish and walk. These plants are making the River banks un -usable

graeme lees

20:35 on 16 Oct 2015

This should have been done years ago to stop these invasive plants.

Gilllian McNeish

13:42 on 16 Oct 2015

Urgent attention required on this subject because most of or river banks in Moray are affected.

Jim Dartnall

12:03 on 16 Oct 2015

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