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Scottish Invasive Species Initiative

Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Rivers Trust

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) is an exciting and ambitious partnership project set up to tackle invasive non-native species alongside rivers and water courses in northern Scotland. We are one of ten fishery trust/board partners in SISI and are working to deliver the project across our catchments.

The SISI project area is vast, covering an area of 29,500km2 – over a third of Scotland (an area larger than the country of Wales!) and encompasses Perthshire, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland.

Invasive non-native species (INNS) have a significant negative impact on freshwater and riparian environments – they can be responsible for the decline of native species and increase bank erosion. The aim of invasive species management is to halt and control the spread of invasive species, undertake habitat restoration and encourage the return of native wildlife.

Funding for the 2017-2023 project is from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (£1.59M) and NatureScot (£0.5M) with in-kind funding from the Fisheries Trusts and volunteer time (£1.25M). The total project value is £3.34 million.

Funding for the 2023 – 2026 project is provided by the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund (£2.08M), managed by NatureScot, with in-kind funding from project partners and volunteers (£0.8M). The total project value is £2.9 million.

The Trust has also secured a range of other funds from local Estates and Moray Council to tackle the non-native plants in several areas.

The target and priority invasive species

The key target species for the SISI project are Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, American skunk cabbage, White butterbur and the American mink.

SISI works in partnership with the fishery trusts, to support, train and equip volunteers with the skills and equipment they need to enable control of invasive species at a local level, embedded in the community. The SISI project is funded until March 2026, when we hope that local community control of invasive species will continue – providing a sustainable long-term solution to control.

River Activities

SISI work is covering five main areas of activity, which we are helping to deliver.

Invasive plant control project

Invasive plant control project

With the help of volunteers, we are pulling out Himalayan balsam and treating Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed with herbicide.
We need more volunteers to help, so please get in touch if you are interested!

American mink control project

American mink control project

We are building on previous control work by reinvigorating the programme of monitoring and trapping for removal of mink, with the help of a network of volunteers.
We are looking for more volunteers to adopt mink rafts in our area, could this be you?

Creating a volunteer network

Creating a volunteer network

No experience necessary! We are investing time and support in building a network of enthusiastic volunteers, providing them with skills, training and qualifications (at no cost) such as pesticide application (PA1/PA6) and first aid.

Raising awareness of invasive species

Raising awareness of invasive species

Through delivering education programmes for schools and community groups we can engage people in discovering the importance of the river environment and the impacts of invasive species.

Alien Detectives

Alien Detectives

Launched in May 2020 -a fun and educational online resource to help the young, and not so young, learn more about alien – or non-native – invasive species.

Promoting biosecurity

Promoting biosecurity

A key part of controlling invasive species (and diseases) is preventing their spread into new areas, so we are all working to promote good biosecurity measures. An updated biosecurity plan has also been produced, FNLRT BiosecurityPlan 2021.

The SISI Team and Getting Involved

The project is delivered by both a team of SISI staff employed by the project and by our own Fishery Trust staff.

At the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Rivers Trust the invasive species management work is being led by:
Elise Cox (Project Officer)
Mobile: 07510 609943 or Email:

If you are interested in volunteering with any aspect of the SISI project, have a look at the volunteering pages on the SISI website or get in touch directly with Elise.

Find out more and keep in touch with SISI

You can find out more about the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI), the target species, how to get involved and volunteer or keep in touch with progress on the project website and through social media via the links below:

Facebook: Scottish Invasive Species Initiative
Twitter: @SISI_project
Instagram: @scot_invasive_sps_initiative

Visit the dedicated SISI website



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