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Invasive and non-native weeds

Non-native plants are those that have been brought in to the country by humans. A small number of these can cause damage to the environment and our health. These are called invasive non-native weeds.

For more advice on how to deal with invasive non-native weeds see GOV.UK

Invasive non-native weed control

Responsibility for dealing with invasive non-native weeds, such as Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort rests with individual landowners. 

We don’t have a role in controlling and managing these weeds unless they are on land owned or managed by us. 

On council owned land

If these weeds are found on our land and are a concern please contact our Property Services Team on 01594 810000 

For roads, highways and road verges please contact Gloucestershire County Council on 08000 514 514

The Forestry Commission will also have policies about managing these weeds on their land.

On privately-owned land

The landowner is ultimately responsible for the weed’s removal. For guidance on the management of invasive non-native weeds and options where a landowner or occupier fails to take action, see GOV.UK - Prevent the spread of harmful weeds.

Identifying invasive non-native weeds

For identification guides, with detailed seasonal photographs, see the Non-native Species Secretariat website.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed has a similar appearance to cow parsley with long, green stems which branch out into clusters of small, white flowers. However, it can grow to over three metres and can be identified by its purple-hued stem and leaf stalks covered in spots.

Japanese Knotweed

The different seasons bring out different characteristics of the plant with red and purple shoots appearing from the ground at the start of spring, which then grow rapidly into canes and grow leaves.


Ragwort grows up to a maximum height of about a metre and has flat topped clusters of bright yellow daisy-like flowers, generally flowering in late June, July and August. The leaves on mature plants are strongly divided into narrow lobes. The plant has dandelion-like seed heads which can be dispersed over a wide area by the wind. There are other plants that look similar so careful identification is important.