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06 May, 2019

Media invite and photo opportunity: Minister helps tackle alien invasion

Not for publication or broadcast – for operational guidance only                    


What: Ahead of national Invasive Species Week 2019 (13-17 May), Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, will be visiting the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) on the River Esk, near Brechin.  She will learn of the range of work being undertaken by the SISI project to remove and manage a suite of invasive plant species and the American mink, meet staff and volunteers and have the opportunity to spray giant hogweed and set up a mink monitoring raft. 

When: 9am on Wednesday 8th May 2019

Where: Meet Vicky Hilton, comms officer, outside the Finavon Hotel (Finavon, near Forfar, DD8 3QD) at 9am.  There is a five minute drive to the riverside location via a rough farm track, where there is a limited amount of parking. The minister is likely to be on site for 1-1½ hours. 

Available for interview: Mairi Gougeon, Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment and MSP for Angus North and Mearns; Callum Sinclair, Project Manager, Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) and other SISI project staff, local project volunteers and a local landowner.

News release: A news release will be issued on Thursday 9th May EMBARGOED UNTIL SUNDAY 12th MAY. For those attending on Wednesday 8th May this can be made available ahead of the day.

Background: The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) is a four-year partnership project, led by Scottish Natural Heritage, with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and working with many fisheries trusts and boards.  SISI is working throughout northern Scotland from the Tay catchment in the south to the remote catchments of North West Sutherland. The project aim is to establish and support a network of local organisations and volunteers who are better connected with their local rivers and are enthused and enabled to tackle Invasive Non-Native Species in rivers and watercourses in their local communities. The idea is that, even after the project ends, local organisations and volunteers are empowered to carry on the important work, providing a long-term, sustainable solution to invasive species management.  More information at

Invasive Species Week is a UK wide national awareness raising week organised by the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (GB NNSS). The Secretariat has responsibility for helping to coordinate the approach to invasive non-native species in Great Britain. More information at

Please confirm your attendance with Vicky Hilton, Volunteer & Communications Officer, Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) by midday Tuesday 7th May 2019: email or on 07340 373211.


Contact information

Vicky Hilton

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. So that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig no lean air Twitter sinn aig