Cairngorms cabbage patch invasion causes a real stink

AN UNUSUAL plant that exudes a foul smell to attract flies, and generates its own heat to melt its way through ice, is threatening native species in a Scottish national park.

The low-growing American skunk cabbage, which is an endangered species in Tennessee, is worrying conservationists on the Insh Marshes nature reserve in Strathspey.

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RSPB Scotland called it “an invasive species from overseas ... proving a menace and posing a threat to native wild plants”.

Karen Sutcliffe, site manager of the charity’s Insh Marshes nature reserve in the Cairngorms National Park, added: “Unfortunately it has reached Insh Marshes where there is a danger of it getting out of hand and out-competing our native species.”