Managing Aquatic Weed

Scottish Canals operate a fleet of aquatic weed harvesters and amphibious weed cutters.

The purpose of this fleet, in conjunction with other channel based operations, is to work towards delivering a navigation channel available and free from obstructions for canal users. 

The aquatic weed harvesters operate from mid-February, until mid-November with a plan to cut the canals end to end on a monthly cycle.

This table indicates the weed burden in the canals:

  • Green - The channel has been cut and proven to be clear.
  • Amber - The channel is approaching the need for another cut, therefore some weed may be evident.
  • Red - The weed burden is high and navigation may be severely impacted.

Condition of the Canal Channel - Aquatic Weed June 2024

Further information

Scottish Canals Navigation Score - June 2024.

We publish a navigation score as a guide to the likely weed burden in the channel and to indicate ease of passage.

A high score =  Lowland Canal Network has been cut within the last month

A low score = Part of the canal will be carrying a weed burden which may impact on navigation. 



Where are the Aquatic Weed Harvesters?

Scottish Canals have four Berky Aquatic Weed Harvesters:

  • Berky 6550 is operating on the Forth & Clyde Canal from Auchinstarry to the Kelpies Sealock.
  • Berky Triton 1500 in operating on the Union Canal between Broxburn and Edinburgh.
  • Berky 6520 is undergoing maintenance with the support of the Forth & Clyde Canal Society at Kirkintilloch and will be back in service July 2024, when she will resuming a cut to Bowling.
  • Berky 6540 is undergoing an out of water refit after 20 years service and will be back in service 2025.  

Tackling Aquatic Weed Hotspots

Whilst the Berky Aquatic Weed Harvesters work to a scheduled weed harvesting programme, Scottish Canals also operates mobile, amphibious weed cutter know as Truxors.

These amphibs can be tasked with tackling localised weed blooms, break away reed beds from the reed fringe or other waterborne obstruction.  

To report any localised weed issues please e-mail -