Giant Hogweed – The Problem
Giant Hogweed is an invasive species, recognised by the Environment Agency within their published hit list of “top ten invasive species marked for containment and removal". Plants produce Sap that contains a toxic chemical that sensitises the skin and leads to severe blistering when exposed to sunlight. On contact with the skin the sap causes photo-dermatitis and can cause blindness from the chemical furanocoumarin. Plants also form dense colonies that suppress the growth of native plants and grasses, leaving riverbanks bare of vegetation in winter and increasingly open to the risk of erosion, that can cause flooding.
Giant Hogweed – The Law
It is a statutory offence to cause or allow plants to grow in the wild, whilst great care must be taken over disposal, as waste regulations categorize all of the plants and contaminated soil as controlled waste. Adjoining owners may take civil action seeking damages due to the spread of Giant Hogweed onto their property.
Giant Hogweed – Information and Identification
Member of the Parsley/Carrot family, resembling common Cow Parsley. Plants can grow up to and over 6m in height, whilst stems can measure up to 10cm in diameter. Can produce up to 1,500 seeds per flower-head. Introduced into the UK as a garden curiosity. Heracleum mantegazzianum was first recorded on the seed list of the Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1817; introduced into the wild in 1828 (in Cambridgeshire).
Giant Hogweed – The Solution
Herpetosure Invasive Solutions has a range of tried and trusted cost-effective environmentally aware solutions, to fit client’s timescales, budgets, and site specific requirements, as well as meeting all regulations.