Guide

Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and other invasive plants

Introduction

There are several hundred invasive plants in Northern Ireland. Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam are invasive plants that your business might come into contact with.

You must not plant invasive plants intentionally and you should manage any plants on your premises to prevent them spreading. If you allow invasive plants to spread onto an adjacent landowner's property, they could take legal action against you for causing a nuisance.

Invasive non-native plants can cause problems for native species and reduce biodiversity (the variety of living organisms). Invasive non-native species are now widely recognised as the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide. Japanese knotweed can block footpaths and damage concrete, tarmac, flood defences and the stability of river banks. Giant hogweed can cause harm to human health.

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.

This guide describes how to identify and control invasive plants using methods such as spraying, digging up, cutting and burning. You will find details of your legal responsibility for dealing with invasive plants and how to remove and dispose of them.