Control of native & non-native invasive weeds

Invasive Weeds

The council controls problem plants on land we own or are responsible for managing, such as road verges, but individual landowners are responsible for control on their land, including along watercourses.

There are two broad types of problem plants: 

  • Harmful weeds
  • Non-native invasive plants

There are five species covered by the Weeds Act 1959: Common Ragwort, Spear Thistle, Creeping or Field Thistle, Broad-leaved Dock, and Curled Dock. All are native to Britain and it is not illegal to have them growing on your land. However, enforcement notices can be given to landowners or occupiers to prevent the spread of any of these species onto agricultural land, particularly land used for grazing or producing hay or silage.

You can find information about the identification and control of harmful weeds on the Natural England website. The Welsh Government has also produced the Code of Practice to Prevent and Control the Spread of Ragwort and is responsible for dealing with specific complaints about Common Ragwort. 

Please use our Reporting Form to tell us about harmful weeds or non-native invasive plants on a road verge.

Non-native invasive plants are species that have become established in the wild after their introduction to Britain, for example as ornamental garden plants. It is an offence to plant or cause to grow in the wild any species listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Non-native invasive plants and animals affect all of us. It is estimated that the impact of non-native invasive species (on agriculture, forestry, fishing, development and water industries for example) costs the British economy £1.7 billion each year.

They also

  • Cause health problems
  • Increase flooding risk
  • Damage property
  • Lead to a decline in native biodiversity

The most common and widespread non-native invasive plants in Powys include Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam. Curly Waterweed and Australian Swamp Stonecrop are non-native invasive water plants found in some parts of Powys. 

Please use our Reporting Form to tell us about harmful weeds or non-native invasive plants on a road verge.

If you have Japanese Knotweed on your land, you are responsible for making sure that it doesn’t spread onto neighbouring land. The Environment Agency has produced useful guidance for controlling or eradicating Japanese Knotweed. You may also wish to seek help from an appropriately qualified and experienced contractor to treat it. Where the infestation spreads across different ownership boundaries all landowners/occupiers will need to work together to solve the problem. The council does not offer a service to control non-native species growing on private land, but we are willing to work with neighbouring landowners to control Japanese Knotweed where it also occurs on our land.

For information about identification and control of Japanese Knotweed and other non-native invasive species visit the Environment Agency website. Gardeners may also find information from the Royal Horticultural Society useful.

Please use our Reporting Form to tell us about harmful weeds or non-native invasive plants on a road verge.

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