Invasive plant species, such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and rhododendron, which were introduced into the UK as ornamental plants, have the potential to take over large areas of habitat. This can reduce the success of native floral species and, in some cases, cause damage and erosion to habitats such as river banks.
It is an offence 'to plant or otherwise encourage' the growth of invasive plant species listed under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 (as amended) in the wild. With some plants, such as Japanese knotweed, this includes cutting the plant or roots and disturbing surrounding soil if not correctly managed. Soil within 7m of a stand of Japanese knotweed can contain its rhizomes and therefore, specific mitigation will be required for any work within 7m of any stands of Japanese knotweed that are identified.
An Invasive Plant Survey can identify invasive plant species within the survey area and provide mitigation and control recommendations.
Ideally the survey should be carried out during the plant growing season (April to September inclusively). If it is necessary to carry out the survey during winter months, an additional survey within the plant growing season may be required if deemed necessary.
A suitably qualified ecologist will carry out an invasive plant survey of the site, recording any plants listed on schedule 9 of the wildlife and countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
Following the Survey
A letter report will be produced detailing the survey methodology and results and providing an evaluation of the species recorded. A map of the site will be provided, with target notes detailing the species recorded, together with details such as the extent of current growth.Recommendations for mitigation measures and control measures will also be made.