Renfrewshire Council

Get involved in Restoring Renfrewshire's Rivers

What the Restoring Renfrewshire's Rivers project is, who can get involved, how to get involved, how to learn more.

What the Restoring Renfrewshire's Rivers project is

We've received £350,000 from the Scottish Government's Nature Restoration Fund to stop invasive non-native plant species from damaging Renfrewshire's riverbanks.

Invasive non-native species take over habitats from native plants. They can destroy riverbanks and built structures, including buildings. Some of them are harmful to humans and animals.

Find out more about invasive non-native species (NatureScot website).

Restoring our rivers will ensure Renfrewshire has well-connected, nature-rich habitats for native plants, wildlife, and pollinating insects. It also supports the council's plans for net zero by helping to reduce carbon emissions, reduce soil erosion, and make our riverbanks stronger against flooding.

Renfrewshire Council is not responsible for invasive non-native species on private land. In these cases, it's up to the landowners to manage the spread of these plants.

What rivers we're restoring

We're focusing on the headwaters of these 5 rivers:

  • Calder Burn
  • Dargavel Burn
  • Locher Water
  • Old Patrick Water
  • Sergeant Law Burn

What invasive non-native species we're removing

We're aiming to remove these 5 species:

  • Rhododendron
  • Japanese knotweed
  • Giant hogweed
  • Himalayan balsam
  • American skunk cabbage

Who can get involved

The council's biodiversity team is leading the project. We're looking for volunteers from the community to help with:

  • identifying where the 5 target invasive non-native plant species are on our riverbanks
  • surveying, recording, and mapping the presence and spread of the species within buffer zones of the project sites
  • implementing control methods, such as herbicide or physically removing plants
  • monitoring the project waterways to help stop the invasive plants from returning.

You do not need any previous experience in this field to be a volunteer.

It will be up to you how much time you'd like to commit to the project.

All volunteers will complete free training before getting involved.

How to get involved

Email if you're interested in volunteering for this project.

Tell us your name and how you'd like us to contact you, and then we'll get back in touch with more information.

Volunteering opportunities in 2024 will run until October, although the project will be ongoing to ensure progress downstream and to prevent the 5 target plant species from recolonising the area.

How to learn more

You can learn more about invasive non-native species in Scotland from these non-council resources: