Giant Hogweed is a dangerous weed that causes blister and burning in victims. In Aberdeenshire near the River Deveron, black sheep graze on sprouting Giant Hogweed.
The Government of Scotland have adopted effective measures to get Giant Hogweed by encouraging the sheep to destroy the plant before it is fully mature.
Chemical sprays are being sprinkled on the Hogweed and the management of Deveron, Bogie and Isla Rivers has brought around 20 sheep to complete the task.
Robin a volunteer stated, “I noticed there were some fields where sheep graze Giant Hogweed in the early stages when it’s just coming into leaf. “They tend to graze it up till the end of June. By June the plant starts to grow rapidly and the sap starts to rise – that’s when the animals start saying ‘we don’t like the taste of that so much now’.
“After some research, a university in Denmark found that some goats and black-faced sheep eat it before then with ease because the pigmentation in their skin prevents them from blistering.
He further mentioned, “So we’ve bought 20 sheep thanks to some funds from the Scottish Natural Heritage that they’ve given us for this trial. We’re going to see what happens and if we do prove that it’s a success after 5-10 years more, areas will be having sheep put in.”