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The CIRB Project produced a CIRB film in the project's final year. This documentary gives information on invasive riparian plant species and insights into the CIRB Project and its achievements.

Link to the full CIRB film

Link to shorts:

Dee/Glyde/Giant Hogweed

Newry Canal/Giant Hogweed

River Faughan/Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam

Argyll/Rhododendron ponticum

CIRB Project Overview



CIRB Closing Conference 25th - 26th November 2014



Spraying Update 31st July 2014

Control of the target invasive plant species on the CIRB Project catchments is well underway for the 2014 season. Treatment of giant hogweed has now been completed in many catchments, and noticeable reductions have been observed in terms of plant density and distribution.

Treatment of Himalayan balsam is also progressing well. Weather permitting, Himalayan balsam control should be completed over the coming weeks. Japanese knotweed control is scheduled to commence soon, as the plant has already started to flower in many areas. Targeted timing of treatment is necessary to ensure the herbicide is taken down into the rhizome of Japanese knotweed plants.

CIRB Project Documentary 31st July 2014

Over the past number of weeks a film crew has been on site with the CIRB Project team to document the work that has been taking place across the island of Ireland and Scotland. As the project nears its completion date, the aim of this film is to document the management and biosecurity techniques that have been put in place across the project catchments for the four target invasive species. In addition it will detail the project’s successes and the opinions and insights of local landowners, anglers and other stakeholders. It is hoped that the film will be completed over the coming months and ready for viewing by the end of the year.



Galloway Fisheries Trust on ITV Border News 1st July 2014

Neil Dalrymple from Galloway Fisheries Trust, one of the Scottish CIRB Project Partners, was on the banks on Loch Ken to illustrate the Check, Clean, Dry campaign in an interview with ITV Border News.

To view the film on the ITV Border website, please click here.


Clipper Homecoming Festival 23rd - 26th June 2014

The biggest international sailing event recently returned to the shores of Lough Foyle. The festival which lasted for over a week was visited by tens of thousands of people.

The CIRB project team manned a stand at the environmental exhibition. This once again provided a great opportunity to raise awareness of the threat and impacts of invasive species in the local area, while discussing the importance of the project with members of the general public.

Sky News Interview 

On the 16th April, CIRB project manager, Dr Catherine McGavigan gave an interview with the SKY News Sunrise team. This was a great opportunity to discuss invasive plant species and their threats, and to raise awareness of the work being carried out by the CIRB Project.

Queen’s University Volunteers Afternoon

As part of Queens University Volunteer afternoon on Wednesday 5th March, 16 volunteers joined staff from the CIRB Project, Queens University Estates and the Lagan Valley Regional Park. The CIRB Project team provided volunteers with information and demonstrations on invasive alien species (IAS), IAS identification, biosecurity measures and survey techniques.

Volunteers then participated in an IAS survey along a section of the River Lagan. Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed were identified in the field and their distributions recorded. The event helped to raise awareness of IAS and provided volunteers with an insight into part of the important work carried out by the CIRB Project.


Galloway Fisheries Trust - Invasive Species Afternoon

A presentation afternoon held by Galloway Fisheries Trust (GFT) in Gatehouse of Fleet in January was open to all to come along and hear about the work of GFT on the Water of Fleet catchment area.  An audience of land owners, local volunteers and conservationists heard CIRB Project Officer Neil Dalrymple and Senior Biologist Jamie Ribbens give presentations on the invasive non-native plant species control work via the CIRB project since 2010 in the Fleet Valley.

The afternoon began with a presentation by Neil on what work had been carried out since the initial survey, the current stage of control work, and the next steps of biosecurity measures and control work on the river.  The CIRB project has controlled 3,500m2 of Japanese Knotweed over 8km of river by means of knapsack spraying.  The second part of the afternoon was lead by Jamie to discuss the overall work by GFT in the Fleet Valley and explain the links between biosecurity work and the river's biodiversity as a whole.

Successful CIRB Training and Awareness Events

A major objective of the CIRB Project is to ensure work started by the team continues long after the project’s completion date. Therefore, all training and awareness events are a vital part of the work carried out by the CIRB team.

On 30th October the team carried out a presentation and demonstration to volunteers from Faughan Valley Landscape Partnership (FVLP). The CIRB project and FVLP are both working towards control and eradication of invasive species within the Faughan Valley catchment. The aim of this event was to increase awareness of the work carried out by the CIRB Project on the River Faughan, in addition to, identifying volunteering opportunities that would benefit both organisations. It is envisaged that the volunteers will be involved in conducting invasive species surveys, as well as undertaking practical control. The CIRB project will be able to provide volunteers with practical skills and qualifications for invasive species removal. 

Invasive species presentation
Practical demonstration by the CIRB Project team

On the 20th November the CIRB Project team also gave a presentation to members of the Queen’s University Belfast Estates team, project managers and grounds staff on invasive species, their identification and control. This was followed by a practical demonstration of equipment and biosecurity used during control, and a question and answer session. It is hoped that the importance of invasive species control can be highlighted in the university’s biodiversity policy and will lead to increased awareness, appropriate biosecurity and quick practical action in the future.

2011 to 2013: Japanese knotweed control success

Positive reductions in Japanese knotweed density and distribution were noted after both the 2012 and 2013 control seasons across the island of Ireland and Scotland. In addition, regeneration of native species has also been noted in many of the CIRB catchments.

Rahan's Lough, Dee/Glyde catchment, 2011 to 2013
Drumahoe, Faughan catchment, 2011 to 2013

ATV Sprayer

The CIRB Project recently purchased a couple of ATVs for use in several of the catchments in Northern Ireland and Scotland. These have proved very beneficial to the treatment of large stands of Japanese knotweed. The sprayer has a 50 L capacity which greatly aids the treatment of stands that stretch for hundreds of metres like the one pictured below on the Faughan catchment.

The QUB CIRB team using the ATV Sprayer on a stand of Japanese knotweed on the River Faughan

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