Japanese Knotweed: Weed Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd November 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the spread of Japanese knotweed.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

HM Government recognises the threats posed by invasive species, including Japanese knotweed, and has a comprehensive Great Britain Non-native Species Strategy designed to tackle these threats.

Japanese knotweed is listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to allow the plant to escape or cause it to grow in the wild. HM Government has developed guidance on how to prevent the spread of Japanese knotweed and other harmful weeds, as well as how to treat and dispose of them, which can be found on GOV.UK:

How to stop invasive non-native plants from spreading - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Defra also continues to fund biocontrol research to tackle Japanese knotweed. It is hoped that this will provide a cost and time effective way of managing this species. This research has identified the psyllid (a sap-sucking insect), Aphalari itadori, as a biological control agent for tackling Japanese Knotweed. Information about the research can be found on the Japanese Knotweed Alliance website.

Local Action Groups, with support from HM Government, are actively involved in reducing and eradicating Japanese knotweed.

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