Giant Hogweed

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Ben Howlett Ben Howlett Conservative, Bath

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the prevalence of giant hogweed.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Giant hogweed has been present in the UK for over a century and is widespread. Biocontrol methods have been considered in the past but suitable candidates from the plant’s native range have not been found.

Giant hogweed is, however, listed on schedule 9 and subject to section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to plant, or cause this species to grow, in the wild. In addition, Local Authorities and the Police now have powers to issue Community Protection Notices under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, requiring landowners to take action to control species like giant hogweed where they are having a detrimental effect on local people’s quality of life.

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