Salmonberry is an invasive plant from the Raspberry family. Introduced in Victorian times to provide dense cover for game it has spread out to colonise hedgerows, woodland and farmland. Its lush dense growth, up to 2 metres, has a destructive effect on hedgerows and destroys native flora in woodlands. This project was started in 2009 with a public participation survey to identify the distribution of Salmonberry round the county. Most affected are areas were found to be Latheron, Castletown and Stirkoke.

The Salmonberry Project will concentrate on a trial project where a section of beech / hawthorn hedging (presently invaded by salmonberry) will under go chemical control measures or removal by digging up the plants. The results will be compared to another section of hedging where grazing is currently used to manage the invasive salmonberry.

Information (in form of a leaflet) will be gathered and passed on to landowners and the public in an attempt to raise the awareness of the problems of salmonberry and possible control techniques which could be employed. The locations of the worst affected areas in Caithness will be recorded.

This project’s objectives are:

  • To compare control measures of salmonberry over a three year period
  • To provide information to safeguard native/semi native woodland and hedgerows in Caithness from salmonberry in the long term
  • To provide information to safeguard habitat for local species using woodland and hedgerows
  • To raise awareness of the problems associated with Salmonberry
  • To locate & encourage landowner / community group to actively¬† manage their own area by controlling salmonberry
  • To encourage volunteers to engage in environmental projects which control salmonberry

Outcome of project

This was a trial project and whilst there was some success in controlling the salmon berry, it had no impact on the general population of the invasive plant in Caithness where it continues to be a problem.

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