£20k of funding is allocated to River South Esk project

The Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust, on behalf of the River South Esk Catchment Partnership, has been awarded £20,000 by the Angus Environment Trust to launch the first phase of the River South Esk Catchment Management Plan.

The success of this application ensures that match funding previously awarded by Angus Council, Esk Rivers & Fisheries Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Cairngorms National Park Authority, and Rural Tayside LEADER is now available, ensuring a further one year delivery of the objectives of the plan.

The implementation phase will begin with the employment of a project co-ordinator to implement actions identified in the management plan and to assist with the first flagship project for the partnership, the control of invasive non-native species (INNS project).

This will be led by the EskRivers and Fisheries Trust who in 2009 completed a survey of invasive non-native weeds within the catchment which highlighted the need for an intensive programme of treatment.

The INNS project will bring benefits to the local community within a short timescale with a reduction in the health and safety risk of giant hogweed.

A raised awareness of non-native invasive species will also help to limit their spread and enhance biodiversity and their removal will contribute towards achieving favourable conservation status of the River South Esk Special Area of Conservation.

David May, Convenor of Angus Councils Infrastructure Services Committee, said: "The INNS project is an excellent example of partnership working between agencies, organisations, and the general public adding value. Without effective co-operation it is extremely unlikely that the funding to enable this project would have been secured."

Other aims of this phase of the project include investigating the social and economic aspects of the catchment, and developing an education programme to promote awareness and understanding of the rivers habitats, species and functions.

Posted on 24/06/2010.

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