The Law in England and Wales

Awareness of Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) in the UK has become significantly widespread in recent years. In part, this is a result of the increased growth and impact of Japanese knotweed.

It is also due to the role that media attention has had to play in raising the public’s awareness. The ease that Japanese Knotweed is spread, the alarming degree of its subterranean rhizome system and the incredible destruction it may cause are well acknowledged in environmental groups. However, less appreciated and understood by the general public are the potential legal implications that a Japanese Knotweed infestation brings with it.

Here we will discuss the potential issues that you need to be aware of.

japanese knotweed and the law

DEFRA – “The Wild”

DEFRA defines “the wild” as “The diverse range of natural and semi-natural habitats and their associated wild native flora and fauna in the rural and urban environments in general. This can also be broadly described as the general open environment.”

However, whether an introduction (release or escape) is into “the wild” may well be dependent on the ecology of the species in question and the potentially affected environment: as such; what constitutes the wild must be judged on a case-by-case.

Basically, this means outside….

SCHEDULE 9 WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981

It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow schedule 9 species (Japanese knotweed is classed as a schedule 9 species) in the wild, punishable by fines or imprisonment.

If it can be shown that a schedule 9 plant has spread from a landowners property onto another property, then the landowner could be considered responsible for any damage caused and the costs of control.

However, if landowners take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to avoid spreading the plant, then they will be better protected against prosecution.

In order to reduce the potential of fines/prosecution, landowners should have a management plan for schedule 9 species on their property and be able to show that they are following it.

Read more by clicking here.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1990

Waste containing any part of a schedule 9 plant that could facilitate the spread of the species is classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of in a suitable waste facility, accompanied by appropriate Waste Transfer documentation!

You cannot just dispose of Japanese knotweed by putting it in the bin nor can you take it to the local waste management site.

All producers, carriers and waste facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the waste is handled and treated properly.

Knotweed Services UK can legally and correctly dispose of your Japanese Knotweed during the treatment and control process. This takes all the pressure away from the landowner.

Read more by clicking here.

“FACT: It is a criminal offence to plant or cause to grow a non-native invasive species that is listed on Schedule 9 in the wild which carries penalties of up to £5,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment.”

Royal Horticultural Society https://www.rhs.org.uk

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The Law in England and Wales

Awareness of Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) in the UK has become significantly widespread in recent years. In part, this is a result of the increased growth and impact of Japanese knotweed.

It is also due to the role that media attention has had to play in raising the public’s awareness. The ease that Japanese Knotweed is spread, the alarming degree of its subterranean rhizome system and the incredible destruction it may cause are well acknowledged in environmental groups. However, less appreciated and understood by the general public are the potential legal implications that a Japanese Knotweed infestation brings with it.

Here we will discuss the potential issues that you need to be aware of.

japanese knotweed and the law

DEFRA – “The Wild”

DEFRA defines “the wild” as “The diverse range of natural and semi-natural habitats and their associated wild native flora and fauna in the rural and urban environments in general. This can also be broadly described as the general open environment.”

However, whether an introduction (release or escape) is into “the wild” may well be dependent on the ecology of the species in question and the potentially affected environment: as such; what constitutes the wild must be judged on a case-by-case.

Basically, this means outside….

SCHEDULE 9 WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981

It is an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow schedule 9 species (Japanese knotweed is classed as a schedule 9 species) in the wild, punishable by fines or imprisonment.

If it can be shown that a schedule 9 plant has spread from a landowners property onto another property, then the landowner could be considered responsible for any damage caused and the costs of control.

However, if landowners take all reasonable steps and exercise all due diligence to avoid spreading the plant, then they will be better protected against prosecution.

In order to reduce the potential of fines/prosecution, landowners should have a management plan for schedule 9 species on their property and be able to show that they are following it.

Read more by clicking here.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1990

Waste containing any part of a schedule 9 plant that could facilitate the spread of the species is classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of in a suitable waste facility, accompanied by appropriate Waste Transfer documentation!

You cannot just dispose of Japanese knotweed by putting it in the bin nor can you take it to the local waste management site.

All producers, carriers and waste facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the waste is handled and treated properly.

Knotweed Services UK can legally and correctly dispose of your Japanese Knotweed during the treatment and control process. This takes all the pressure away from the landowner.

Read more by clicking here.

“FACT: It is a criminal offence to plant or cause to grow a non-native invasive species that is listed on Schedule 9 in the wild which carries penalties of up to £5,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment.”

Royal Horticultural Society https://www.rhs.org.uk

[]
1 Step 1
FREE IDENTIFICATION
Fill in the form below, attach your pictures and we'll let you know if the plant in your picture is Japanese Knotweed.
Your NameYour full name
no-icon
Phone numberPlease enter your phone number (optional)
no-icon
What town do you live in?Please tell us the name of your town or city
no-icon
Please choose one of the following:Is your property:
Your messageFurther details
0 /
Submit your picturesWe will tell you if you have knotweed
cloud_uploadupload pictures
GDPR Agreement
keyboard_arrow_leftPrevious
Nextkeyboard_arrow_right

Are your pictures on a different device? Don’t have pictures available at the moment? No problem! Sending pictures to us is EASY at ANYTIME. You can contact us via the following:

SMS Text

WhatsApp

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Video

Control of pesticides regulations 1986

These regulations require any person who uses a pesticide to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health of human beings, creatures and plants, safeguard the environment and in particular avoid the pollution of water.

Any person involved in the professional application of herbicides should possess the appropriate pesticides certificate of competence for the safe use of herbicide and hand-held herbicide applicators e.ge NPTG Level 2 award in the safe use of pesticides PA1 and PA6a/raw.

Read more by clicking here.

Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994

Waste should be recovered or disposed of “without endangering human health and without using proceses or methods which could harm the environment and in particular without:

  • risk to water
  • Air
  • Soil
  • Plants or animals
  • Causing nuisance through noise or odours
  • Adversely affecting the countryside or places of special interest.

Read more by clicking here.

Hazardous Waste regulations 2005

The regulations contain provisions about the handling and movement of hazardous waste. Consignment notes must be completed when any hazardous waste is transferred, which include details about the hazardous properties and any special handling requirements.

Untreated Japanese Knotweed is not classed as hazardous waste, but material containing knotweed which has been treated with certain herbicides may be classified as hazardous waste.

Read more by clicking here.

COMMON LAW

If a neighbour allows Japanese Knotweed (or other Schedule 9 listed species) to encroach onto your property, it may constitute a private nuisance under common law.

If fault is clear, property owners affected by Japanese Knotweed growth from a neighbouring property may be able to apply to court for an injunction requiring the owner of the property to prevent the nuisance.

Such claims can also include a sum of money in damages relating to control, physical damage to property and/or devaluation of property.

COMMUNITY PROTECTION NOTICE

The community protection notice can be used against individuals who are acting unreasonably and who persistently or continually act in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality.

The notice can be used to require someone to control or prevent the growth of Japanese knotweed or other plants that are capable of causing serious problems to communities. The testis that the conduct of the individual or body is having a detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality, and that the conduct is unreasonable. Under section 57 of the Act, “conduct” includes “a failure to act”.

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