We are delighted to announce that ACT has secured a substantial grant of £935,438 from the Scottish Government's Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot, to embark on an important task: the clearance of rhododendron in the Tayvallich area of Knapdale, Argyll and Bute. Spanning from March 20, 2024, to March 31, 2026, this project aims to restore native woodland in the region, protecting its biodiversity and ecological balance.

Following a successful development phase, which involved drone surveys and collaboration with local landowners, we are now set to tackle rhododendron control in priority areas, particularly in Mid Argyll and Knapdale. The invasive Rhododendron ponticum poses a significant threat to the native woodland ecosystems, forming dense thickets that choke the growth of indigenous flora and fauna.
We are currently in the process of selecting a qualified and experienced contractor to execute the rhododendron control work in North Knapdale through a tender process. The project will cover a net area of 36 hectares, with completion targeted by March 31, 2026. 


 Lobaria scrobiculata with apothecia, Lobaria pulmonaria      Lobaria scrobiculata photos by Ian Dow/ACT

Additionally, the project will establish a Rainforest Squad, reinforcing efforts to preserve Argyll’s precious rainforest. Recruitment for a Squad Supervisor and three Trainees will commence shortly, marking a proactive step towards community involvement and environmental stewardship.

Armed with a series of successful projects, including the ACT Rainforest initiative in collaboration with the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest, ACT is committed to restoring and enhancing the region's rainforest sites. Argyll & Bute’s temperate rainforest, characterised by ancient native woodlands teeming with diverse flora and fauna, faces increasing threats. The eradication of Rhododendron ponticum and its invasive hybrids is essential to protect these special habitats and promote biodiversity.

Rhododendron and ACT staff member

Philippa McKee, ACT Woodland Coordinator comments: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been awarded this funding for large scale control of Rhododendron ponticum.  Invasive, non-native species are a huge threat to the biodiversity of our native woodlands and we are lucky that so many landowners have shown a willingness to work together, and with us, to develop this project.  It is a big undertaking but we have great confidence in this project to make a landscape scale difference to Knapdale’s woodlands and this hugely important part of Scotland’s Rainforest.”

The project is made possible through the support of the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, managed by NatureScot.

NRF logo lock up

Read more about ACT’s rainforest work

Read the contractor tender notice

Enquiries for the contractor tender should be made through Public Contracts Scotland