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Giant Hogweed and other invasive plants

Prevent the spread of invasive, non-native plants

The Giant Hogweed plant can be harmful. It grows up to five metres tall and has has sharp serrated leaves that can grow up to three metres in size. The stems have sharp bristles and are green with purple blotches. The flowers are umbrella shaped and are usually white.

Giant Hogweed
Giant Hogweed

You have a responsibility to:

  • prevent invasive, non-native plants on your land spreading into the wild and causing a nuisance
  • prevent harmful weeds on your land spreading onto a neighbour's property

It is important that you can identify them so you can control them in the most appropriate way.

You must not plant in the wild or cause certain invasive and non-native plants to grow in the wild. This can include moving contaminated soil or plant cuttings. If you do, you can be fined or sent to prison for up to two years.

The most commonly found invasive, non-native plants include:

  • Japanese knotweed
  • Giant hogweed
  • Himalayan balsam
  • Rhododendron ponticum
  • New Zealand pigmyweed (this is banned from sale)

You're not legally obliged to remove these plants or to control them. However, if you allow Japanese knotweed to grow onto other people's property you could be prosecuted for causing a private nuisance.

Please visit the Government's website for more details and identification sheets on invasive and non-native plants.

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