Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and other invasive weeds
Non-native species (NNS) are those that have been introduced, either intentionally or unintentionally, outside of their native range. A small proportion of non-native species go on to cause negative impacts on the environment, economy or human health – these are known as invasive non-native species (INNS).
INNS are recognised as one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide. invasive non-native plants can block footpaths, and Japanese knotweed can damage concrete, threatening infrastructure. Giant hogweed can cause harm to human health.
Noxious/Injurious Weeds such as Thistles and Ragwort
Some native plants may also require control:
- In Northern Ireland, noxious weeds are native species, which cause problems for farming. They are harmful to livestock and must not be allowed to spread to agricultural land.
- In Scotland, injurious weeds are those native species that you may be required to control if they are spreading and causing a nuisance.
This guide describes your legal obligations regarding non-native species and invasive species; how to identify and control invasive species, using methods such as spraying, digging up, cutting and burning; and how to remove and dispose of them.
In this guide
- Invasive plants - Your legal responsibilities in Northern Ireland
- Non-Native plants - Your legal responsibilities in Scotland
- Identifying invasive plants
- Reporting non-native plants
- How invasive plant species spread
- Handling and working with invasive plants
- Spraying invasive plants with herbicide
- Digging up invasive plants
- Cutting and burning invasive plants
- Burying invasive plant material on site
- Disposing of invasive plants and contaminated soils off-site
- Non-native and invasive plants environmental legislation