Treatment and disposal of invasive non-native plants

2016-11-23Many Environmental Managers working across the construction sector or with Facilities Management for a number of sites will have experienced the dreaded Japanese Knotweed or its cousins; Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed.

These plants are what is known as “Invasive Non-Native Species” (INNS) meaning that they are not plants that are native to the United Kingdom & are capable of thriving outside cultivation, expanding into natural areas and disrupting native plant communities.

The process for the management of these plants can be problematic as any treatment and disposal needs to be carefully planned to ensure that the plant does not spread any further and cause other unintended consequences to other land or property owners.

Help is at hand to explain how to meet the legal requirements, which are described in a revision of the Environment Agency’s Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) 178, which applies if you want to dispose of invasive non-native plant material, and the substrate in which it is rooted, without an environmental permit.

By following the conditions of the RPS, you will not need to apply for an environmental permit to treat or bury invasive non-native plant material & know that you are following the best environmental management practice.

Be clear though, if you can’t comply with the RPS 178 then you will need to obtain an environmental permit.

The conditions of RPS 178 can be found here.

Additionally, you may want to read earlier posts on this subject within this website:

Identification Sheets: Invasive non-native species

Managing Japanese Knotweed on development sites Addendum


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