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Invasive and non-native weeds

Non-native plants are those that have been brought in to the country by humans. A small number of these can cause damage to the environment and our health. These are called invasive non-native weeds.

For more advice on how to deal with invasive non-native weeds see GOV.UK

Invasive non-native weed control

It is the responsibility of individual landowners to deal with invasive non-native weeds, such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed. 

Contact the responsible landowner or occupier and ask them to prevent any weeds that are spreading on to your land and that are controlled by law.

If we find an invasive non-native weed on our land we will arrange for it to be removed by appropriately qualified weed removal contractors. Contact us to let us know on 01594 810000.

For roads, highways and road verges please contact Gloucestershire County Council on 08000 514514.

The Forestry Commission will also have policies about managing these weeds on their land.

Identifying invasive non-native weeds

For identification guides, with detailed seasonal photographs, see the Non-native Species Secretariat website.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed has a similar appearance to cow parsley with long, green stems which branch out into clusters of small, white flowers. However, it can grow to over three metres and can be identified by its purple-hued stem and leaf stalks covered in spots.

Japanese Knotweed

The different seasons bring out different characteristics of the plant with red and purple shoots appearing from the ground at the start of spring, which then grow rapidly into canes and grow leaves.


Ragwort grows up to a maximum height of about a metre and has flat topped clusters of bright yellow daisy-like flowers, generally flowering in late June, July and August. The leaves on mature plants are strongly divided into narrow lobes. The plant has dandelion-like seed heads which can be dispersed over a wide area by the wind. There are other plants that look similar so careful identification is important.