Invasive plants and injurious weeds

Invasive plants

Invasive non-native plants are species which have been brought into the UK that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.

Invasive non-native plants can cause problems for native UK species and reduce biodiversity (the variety of living organisms). Invasive non-native species are now widely recognised as the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide. Japanese knotweed can block footpaths and damage concrete, tarmac, flood defences and the stability of river banks. Giant hogweed can cause harm to human health.

Injurious weeds

Injurious weeds are native species, which have been deemed to cause a problem to farming productivity.

Injurious weeds are those that are considered able to cause harm to agricultural pasture. The five species of 'injurious weed' are:

  • common ragwort
  • spear thistle
  • creeping or field thistle
  • curled dock
  • broadleaved dock

Further information on both invasive plants and injurious weeds see:

If you have invasive plants or injurious weeds on your premises you have a responsibility to prevent them spreading into the wild or causing a nuisance.