Giant Hogweed Removal | TP Knotweed Solutions
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Giant Hogweed Removal

What is Giant Hogweed?

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant that relies solely on seeds for reproduction and spread. It only takes a single plant germinating from as little as one seed to cause an invasion. This is especially worrying as each flower of a single umbel produces 30 to 50,000 seeds.

The impact of Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed is dangerous because its sap is harmful to humans through its ability to cause skin inflammations. The species is phototoxic, which means that if the skin comes into contact with the plant and then direct sunlight, it can cause a red rash, often followed by severe burns and blistering within 24 hours.

The resulting burns can last for several months and, even once they’ve gone, skin can remain sensitive to sunlight for years to come.

How to identify Giant Hogweed

What does Giant Hogweed look like?

Giant Hogweed can reach heights of 5 metres high with small, creamy-white flowers. The numerous flower umbels on each stalk can each measure up to 2 feet. The highest levels of sap have been discovered during the month of June, so this part of summer is a time to be particularly aware when handling Giant Hogweed. If you want to know if you have Giant Hogweed send us a message with your images attached and we will get back to you within 48 hours.

Giant Hogweed Legislation

There are numerous laws put in place to prevent the spread of this invasive plant. If you find Giant Hogweed it is crucial you read these laws before attempting removal as you could be breaking the law.

Section 9, Schedule 14

It is illegal to plant or otherwise cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild in the UK

Section 9

It is illegal to plant or otherwise cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild in Northern Ireland

Local councils and the police have the power to issue Community Protection Notices 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” including for invasive non-native species like Giant Hogweed. A notice could require an individual or organisation to make reasonable efforts to make good the problems arising as a result of Giant Hogweed within a specified period of time and/or a requirement to take reasonable steps to prevent future occurrence of the problem. Breach of any requirement of a Community Protection Notice, without reasonable excuse, would be a criminal offence

Sections 33 and 34

If taken away from the site of origin, Giant Hogweed and associated material, e.g. soil, becomes Controlled Waste and must be disposed of at a landfill site that is authorised to accept it. Giant Hogweed waste that is disposed of at a landfill site must be accompanied by appropriate waste transfer documentation

Section 79

In certain circumstances Local Authorities have powers to deal with Giant Hogweed when it is growing on land, allowing enforcement action to be taken where the Giant Hogweed is, or is likely to be, prejudicial to health and may include where the plant is growing along pathways or on land which is easily accessible to users or passers-by

Section 215 of the England and Wales Act and Section 63 of the Scottish Act

Although these Acts do not make specific reference to specific weeds, they provide local authorities with power to serve notices on owners or occupiers of land to control weeds that may be harming the amenity of the surrounding area and if the owners and occupiers fail to remedy the situation, they may be liable to a fine or have to repay the costs of action taken by the local authority to control the weeds

There is provision within Common Law to take civil action against neighbouring landowners where the spread of Giant Hogweed is considered to be a private or public nuisance


1. Chemical control

It is recommended to apply herbicide early in the growth of this species, before the plant flowers and seeds. Chemical control needs to be consistent over a number of years to have any considerable effect. There is legislation around spraying chemicals in the wild, so it is best to do your research and hire professionals that can adhere to laws and best practice.

2. Manual control

To mitigate the risk of contamination and destruction of nearby plants, manual control and removal of Giant Hogweed is often favourable. Cutting the plant out from the roots is highly effective, but must be undertaken with extreme care. Cutting the plants themselves will often only encourage faster regrowth and more flowering shoots, and in some cases can help spread the plant’s seeds even further. Strimming and trimming for cosmetic effect is not recommended.

In all cases, we monitor your premises for up to five years following treatment and can provide every site with our mortgage-friendly 10 Year Insurance Backed Guarantee at additional cost.

Think you have giant hogweed?