Invasive non-native species (or INNS) have received a huge amount of coverage in our volunteer emails, social media, and the news recently. Hogweed has been particularly well covered as, yet again, we are seeing people badly affected by hogweeds harmful sap which has been causing blisters and burns.
Next spring, we are hoping to launch the INNS Free Ribble project which will see Ribble Rivers Trust carry out a program of work to control invasive species, including hogweed, across the catchment. The project will bring together landowners (who are responsible for the control of invasive species), local councils, our supporters and volunteers, and the public.
However, we will need your help!
Raising funds for invasive species control is really difficult and is the hardest activity to find funding support for, as such we are seeking funds from a range of sources, including the public.
Costs such as training, equipment, and materials for volunteers and staff, and monitoring and project coordination are often not eligible for payment from grants, so we rely on donations to fund these core costs.
Specialist training and equipment is needed to treat Giant Hogweed, and so the treatment cannot be done by the general public or our volunteers due to the risks it poses, which is one of the reasons we are hoping to raise the funds needed to try and eradicate it.
To ensure we can get this project off the ground we are looking to raise an £5000 from public donations. As always, all the money we raise goes directly into improving our rivers, and green spaces, and making them safer for everyone.
If you aren’t in a position to donate to the project then don’t worry, you can still help by signing up for volunteering– many hands make light work! You can also help us by recording your sightings at ywt-data.org/inns-mapper. By submitting records of giant hogweed, you can help us to assess the size of the problem and gather evidence showing the need for funding to help eradicate it from the Ribble catchment.