A flock of woolly warriors introduced by the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative into woodland alongside the River Deveron have made a great start in their mission to munch away invasive Giant hogweed plants.
The sheep were introduced into the strip of woodland along the river beyond the Macduff distillery as part of a hogweed grazing trial last spring and have now arrived back to the woodland to recommence their important work after a well-earned winter break. There are fewer sheep on site in 2020 compared to last year to avoid overgrazing impacts detected in the monitoring of the 2019 season.
Many walkers continue to use the site and are welcome to do so, but are being reminded to be aware of the sheep and act responsibly – including by keeping dogs on leads. As there are fewer animals present in the woodland they might not always be visible.
Karen Muller, Project Officer for the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative, said: “We are really pleased with how the first year of the trial has gone. The sheep did what we hoped they would do and ate away at the Giant hogweed plants with no ill-effects. We’ve made a few adjustments this year and will continue to monitor closely how this season goes.”