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Invasive Species

We provide specialist services relating to problematic species such as Japanese knotweed, giant Hogweed, and Himalayan balsam and Injurious Weeds.

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Everything you need to know about invasive species

At Arbtech we provide specialist services including:

  • Presence/likely-absence surveys of problematic species such as Japanese knotweed, giant Hogweed, and Himalayan balsam and Injurious Weeds (The Problematic Species Audit)
  • Detailed site investigation/mapping
  • Advice on control programmes and management
  • Advice on control programmes for problematic fauna
  • Desk studies
  • Clerk-of-works, supervision of contractors and audit services
  • Production of Biosecurity Plans
  • Expert witness services
  • Evaluation of novel methodologies and treatments
  • Non-native species monitoring
  • Training and toolbox talks
  • Environment Agency standard Japanese knotweed management plans
  • Controlled waste advice

We work to BS 42020:2013 Biodiversity: Code of practice for planning and development and the CIEEM Code of Practice.
Our principal, Chris Formaggia is BASIS qualified and as such is qualified to give advice on pesticide and fertiliser as covered by the FEPA Act 1985 and the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1997.

‘Biosecurity’ is the protection afforded from the risks posed by organisms to the economy, environment and public health; through exclusion, eradication, and control.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature [IUCN] has stated that “one of the major threats to native biological diversity is now acknowledged by scientists and governments to be biological invasions caused by non-native species. The impacts of non-native invasive species are immense, insidious and usually irreversible. They may be as damaging to native species and ecosystems on a global scale as the loss and degradation of habitats”.

Non-native species are a species introduced by human agency indirectly or directly, into a geographical region outside its natural range. The species has become established and self-maintaining.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981 there is provision that any person that releases or allows to escape into the wild any animal, which:

  1. a) is of a kind which is not ordinarily resident in and is not a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state; or
  2. b) is included in Part I of Schedule 9, shall be guilty of an offence.

Plant Species currently on the Schedule include:

  • All species of the genus Elodea (waterweeds) (including Canadian waterweed Elodea canadensis & Nuttall’s waterweed Elodea nuttallii)
  • Californian red seaweed Pikea californica
  • Curly waterweed Lagarosiphon major
  • Duck potato Sagittaria latifolia
  • Entire-leaved cotoneaster Cotoneaster integrifolius
  • Fallopia japonica x Fallopia sachalinensis (a hybrid knotweed)
  • False Virginia creeper Parthenocissus inserta
  • Fanwort (Carolina water-shield) Cabomba caroliniana
  • Few-flowered leek Allium paradoxum
  • Floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides
  • Floating water primrose Ludwigia peploides
  • Giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum
  • Giant kelp Macrocyctis pyrifera, M. angustifolia, M. integrifolia, M. laevis
  • Giant knotweed Fallopia sachalinensis
  • Giant rhubarb Gunnera tinctoria
  • Giant salvinia Salvinia molesta
  • Green seafingers Codium fragile
  • Himalayan cotoneaster Cotoneaster simonsii
  • Hollyberry cotoneaster Cotoneaster bullatus
  • Hooked asparagus seaweed Asparagopsis armata
  • Hottentot-fig Carpobrotus edulis
  • Indian balsam Impatiens glandulifera
  • Japanese kelp Laminaria japonica
  • Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica
  • Japanese rose Rosa rugose
  • Japanese seaweed Sargassum muticum
  • Laver seaweeds (except native species) Porphyra species
  • Montbretia Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora
  • New Zealand pigmyweed Crassula helmsii
  • Parrot’s-feather Myriophyllum aquaticumPerfoliate Alexanders Smyrnium perfoliatum
  • Purple dewplant Disphyma crassifolium
  • Red algae Grateloupia luxurians
  • Rhododendron Rhododendron ponticum
  • Rhododendron Rhododendron ponticum x Rhododendron maximum
  • Small-leaved cotoneaster Cotoneaster microphyllus
  • Three-cornered garlic Allium triquetrum
  • Variegated yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. Argentatum
  • Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia
  • Wall Cotoneaster Cotoneaster horizontalis
  • Water fern Azolla filiculoides
  • Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
  • Water lettuce Pistia stratiotes
  • Water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora / Ludwigia uruguayensis
  • Yellow azalea Rhododendron luteum
  • Wakame Undaria pinnatifida

More information on the Wildlife and Countryside Act HERE.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonica, is a non-native invasive species of plant introduced into the United Kingdom in the mid-nineteenth century as an ornamental garden plant. Since its introduction it has spread across UK through watercourses, transport routes and infested waste sites.

Japanese Knotweed is a member of the dock family (Polygonaceae), and is a rhizomatous perennial plant with distinctive branching, hollow, bamboo-like stems, covered in purple-speckles, often reaching 2-3 metres high. The rhizome system may extend up to and beyond a depth of 2metres and extend 7metres laterally from a parent plant. Within the UK Japanese knotweed is mainly spread by rhizome fragments of cut stems, as little as 0.7gram or rhizome material can produce a new plant within 10 days.

The plants vigorous growth can damage buildings and hard surfaces, once established underneath or around the built environment it can be particularly hard to control. Riverside Japanese knotweed can damage flood defences and structures and reduces the channels capacity to carry floodwater. Particularly at risk are brownfield development sites which gardeners may have used to fly-tip waste.


The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981 (WCA 1981), section 14(2), states that “if any person plants or causes to grow (which includes causing it to spread from one site to another) in the wild a plant which is included in Part II of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of offence”.

Currently, Schedule 9 Part II currently lists 26 species of plant including Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), contains legal provisions concerning “controlled waste”, which are detailed in Part II. Any plant material or soil contaminated with Japanese Knotweed that is discarded, intended to be discarded or is required to be discarded is likely to be classified as controlled waste.

Section 33 (1a) and (1b) makes it an offence to; keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste without a licence or to keep, treat or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to case pollution of the environment or harm or human health.

Section 34 places duties on any person who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste.

Waste has to be handled responsibly and in accordance with the law at all stages between its production and final recovery or disposal. Waste must be transferred to an authorised person (a person who is either a registered carrier or exempted from registration by the Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations 1991. A waste transfer note has to be completed and signed and must include written description of the waste that enables the receiver of the waste to handle it in accordance with their own duty of care. The provisions concerning waste transfer notes are set out in the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 (as amended). Failure to comply with these provisions is an offence.

Problematic Species Resources

GB Non Native Species Secretariat

Japanese knotweed: managing on development sites

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