Plants: Weed Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 24 May 2024.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the SB6 Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier grant for rhododendron control.

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

We are committed to reviewing all actions in Countryside Stewardship and Sustainable Farming Incentive, on a phased basis over time. As part of the reviews, we will take into account comments from farmers and stakeholders and ensure guidance is appropriate.

Rhododendron ponticum is one of the most damaging invasive plants in the UK; it prevents woodland regeneration and destroys the natural understorey which has consequent impacts on birds and invertebrates. In addition to the existing SB6 capital item, we will be introducing a revenue item later this year to support continued control of rhododendron once initial control has been undertaken.

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