Frequently Asked

Questions

To find out more about Riverside Naturally visit our About Us page.

There are many questions that we get asked on a regular basis.  We hope this list will clear up any queries you may have.  Please feel free to contact us if you have anything else you'd like to know.

Do you need to know how to garden to join Riverside Naturally?
What does it mean to be a member of Riverside Naturally?
How do I join Riverside Naturally?
What does 'Biodiversity' mean and why is it important?
What does 'native species' mean?
Why did you cut down trees?
What do you mean by invasive species?
Why do you weed out the pretty pink flowers along the river?
But if the bees really like it, does it matter?
Can you sort out the Giant Hogweed?

Any more questions for us?  Don't hesitate to drop us an email!

Who is involved?

Riverside Naturally is made up of people who love Riverside, you can be a resident of the area or you can simply be keen to get involved.

There is a range of people involved - some with experience in environmental issues and others who are  enthusiastic and want to get involved.

Locals volunteer as trustees and work along side the Riverside community who attend our our events, volunteer  with out maintenace sessions and donate to help fund our efforts.

 

Do you have to know how to garden to join Riverside Naturally?

No.

In fact one of the best things about Riverside Naturally is that there are a lot of people who are very knowledgeable in all things green and are delighted to share information and support you.

There may be other skills and knowledge that you have that will be very welcome.

 

What does it mean to be a member of Riverside Naturally?

Being a member of Riverside Naturally means you will get information on events and volunteering opportunities.  You will receive our regular e-bulletin and you will be entitled to attend the Annual General Meeting.

Membership is free and is available to anyone aged 16+ who supports the work of Riverside Naturally which is to make Riverside a better place to live by making it a better place for nature.

 

How do I join Riverside Naturally?

Visit this page and complete the form, it's that easy!

 
 

What does 'Biodiversity' mean and why is it important?

 

Biodiversity is the term given to describe the wide variety of living creatures including plants, mini-breasts as well as lager creatures, such as us!  It includes the life found in your garden and local green spaces.  

Biodiversity is important because each living creature fills an important role in balancing our ecosystem. 

We believe that if we make choices that support and promote biodiversity in Riverside's green spaces we help the plant and we enhance our area for all the living creatures that call it home.

Further Information:  Biodiversity Explained

 

What does 'native species' mean?

 

A native species is generally understood as one that has thrived in that area for thousands of years and has strong associations with local wildlife.

Native plants support significantly more wildlife as they have adapted to all the local conditions - weather, soil, wildlife.

 

Why did you cut down trees?

 

We understand that cutting down trees seems at odds with our pledge to protect and enhance our green spaces.  

If we ever take the hard decision to remove trees it will be based on a few considerations:

 

Diseased - Sometimes trees can become diseased and may have to be removed for public safety and to contain the spread of the disease.

 

Overcrowding – in the case of the Northern Woodland Garden a lot of the trees were self seeded which resulted in over crowding and a lot of trees fighting for the same resources.

Biodiversity – A thriving woodland space will have a variety of trees, shrubs and plants that are adapted to those conditions. 

 

We would like to assure you it is our aim to plant even more trees around Riverside, ensuring that we choose the right tree for the right place.  

Further information:  Woodland Gardens    Trees

What do you mean by invasive species?

An invasive species is a one that overwhelms and effectively eradicates many other species.

This is problematic because a thriving ecosystem needs to include a variety of plants, this attracts a diverse range of creatures which is our aim.  

Riverside has two species in particular that are invasive - Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.

 
 

Why do you want to weed out the pretty pink flowers along the river?

 

This plant is called Himalayan Balsam.   This is considered an Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) - this means it is illegal to cause it to spread which makes the removal of more complicated.  

 

It grows abundantly very quickly and doesn't give other plants a chance to grow.  It has a very effective seed dispersal system where it can shoot pods up to seven metres away.  The seeds are also swept down the river which spreads it even further.   

 

An effective way to control the spread of this plant is to pull up the roots and allow the plant to dry out and die in the same location before it has set seed.  If seeds have already set their spread will be limited.

But if the bees really like it, does it matter?

We love bees - it is important that they have nectar across the year, not just when this plant is in flower.   

Our planting always considers the benefit to wildlife, including bees.

 
 

Can you sort out the Giant Hogweed?

 

Giant Hogweed grows in abundance around Riverside, and in particular on the riverbanks. 

This plant is problematic because of it's toxic sap and we would advise against anyone to touching Giant Hogweed.  It requires specialists to remove it.

Stirling Council has a programme to address this issue though the spread of the Giant Hogweed has got worse over the months of lockdown and the restrictions on the grounds teams and the stretched resources due to the Coronavirus crisis.

As a priority they are addressing any plants found in public spaces and when guidelines and resources allow they

will deal with the plants on the riverbank.