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The National Trust for Scotland’s nationwide effort to eradicate invasive plants has come to Brodick Country Park this autumn.
A team of contractors are removing rhododendron ponticum, a non-native species which has been causing problems on the historic estate, crowding out other plant species and spreading plant disease.
The removal work is part of the conservation charity’s Project Wipeout – a push to eradicate invasive plants, including Japanese knotweed, American skunk cabbage and rhododendron ponticum, at a number of its sites across Scotland.
The project is funded by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the Nature Scot Biodiversity Challenge Fund and Baillie Gifford.
Work initially will focus on the western half of Brodick Country Park, and it is hoped will give native woodland flora the chance to flourish once again.
Tim Keyworth, acting operations manager at Brodick Castle and Country Park said: ‘Brodick Castle is well-known for its fantastic rhododendron collection and we have many beautiful varieties to enjoy in the gardens and grounds. But unfortunately, ponticum, although pretty, brings with it a host of problems. So, by removing it, we are doing our bit for Arran’s natural habitats and giving its beautiful native flora the chance to flourish, benefitting our biodiversity and the island’s wildlife.’
Will Humpington from People’s Postcode Lottery said: ‘It’s great to hear that this important project to protect Arran’s natural heritage is getting underway, and we are pleased that the players of People’s Postcode Lottery are playing their part in making it happen.’
Project Wipeout covers National Trust for Scotland sites spanning Scotland, from Torridon in the North West Highlands, to Culzean Country Park in Ayrshire.
The entrance to the rhododendron walk at the Brodick Country Park. 01_B44castle01