skip to main content

Invasive non-native plants

Which plants cause problems?

There are many species of non-native plants growing in the wild in Scotland. Many of these cause no real issues but some do, due to their ability to invade habitats, spread quickly and out-compete native vegetation. Some can be destructive with effects such as destabilisation of riverbanks, built structures and surfaces. A few can adversely affect human and animal health.

In Scotland, the invasive, non-native plants that have the greatest negative impacts are Rhododendron, Japanese knotweed, Giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam. Two others that have great potential to be invasive are American skunk cabbage and giant rhubarb. Detailed information about these species and how to identify them can be found on the Great Britain Non- Native Species Secretariat external site   website.

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed causes particular problems for householders. There have been cases of mortgage lenders refusing to lend for property on land where Japanese knotweed occurs. It can also cause disputes between neighbouring householders where one if failing to control spread of the plant to neighbouring property. These problems can be overcome with a management plan for treatment and control provided by a specialist weed control company.

The following organisations provide advice for home owners and property surveyors

Legal responsibilities

If you have non-native plants growing on your land the law in Scotland requires that you ensure that they do not spread into "the wild". Spread may occur naturally (for example by seed ) or dumping unwanted plant material or contaminated soil.

You should also control invasive plants on your land to prevent them from causing a nuisance to others. For example, if you allow Japanese knotweed to spread onto your neighbour's property you could be prosecuted for causing a private nuisance.

Legal responsibilities

If you have non-native plants growing on your land the law in Scotland requires that you ensure that they do not spread into "the wild". Spread may occur naturally (for example by seed ) or dumping unwanted plant material or contaminated soil.

You should also control invasive plants on your land to prevent them from causing a nuisance to others. For example, if you allow Japanese knotweed to spread onto your neighbour's property you could be prosecuted for causing a private nuisance.

Control

The most appropriate methods of control will depend on the plant being treated and various site specific factors. The following websites provide advice on how to control invasive plants:

Effective control of invasive plants will often require the appointment of specialist contractors, especially where residential property or development sites are affected.

Disposal

Invasive plant material and associated contaminated soils are classed as a "controlled waste" and as such may only legally be disposed of at an appropriately licensed landfill site, not on a roadside or riverbank. Further information is available from SEPA

Available funding

Funding to support control measures for invasive, non-native plants such as Japanese Knotweed is available through the Scottish Rural Development Fund: Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) . This is the main funding for land managers, farmer and foresters.

Further advice is available on our funding pages



Last updated on Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 14:13 PM. Click here to comment on this page