Muiravonside Country Park is a lovely site for walking your dog however, with 170 acres of woodland to manage, the work of the volunteers spanned over the Autumn and Winter.
Although slightly soggy the volunteers were in good spirits as they looked over all the different sites in the park that were now free of any trace of rhododendron and laurel thanks to their hard work. This is the eventual aim of the invasive species management plan for the country park and the level of this work needed will slowly decrease over the coming years if all goes well!
These non-native invasive plants were removed by being pulled out and burned on a fire. In combination with the physical removal of these plants there were some spots that were sprayed as they were on steep slopes that were too difficult to get to. These spots were sprayed with herbicide to make sure no rhododendron or laurel was left to spread seeds. The spray had a blue dye to show the areas that had been sprayed, so if you see a blue sprayed plant don’t touch it or let your dog near it as it could get an upset tummy.
It was a satisfying job to see the landscape without the waxy leaves blanketing the place but over the weeks we also got to have fun with our fellow volunteers and gained a few new ones in the time we were there, all were very welcome and we had a lot of fun creating bonfires for the burning of the Rhododendrons every week!