Hogweed in Rotherham could get the chop

A FLORAL fiend is set to get the chop if an environmental group gets its way.

The fearsome giant hogweed is in the sights of the body which aims to stamp out the botanical invader which can cause physical injury to people.

Often found along riverbanks across the area, the giant hogweed – which was introduced as an ornamental plant in the 19th century and spread rapidly – can cause painful blisters and burns to people who touch it.

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But now the Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum is aiming to control the venomous flowery foe.

The Forum can offer expert advice to raise awareness of the problems caused by invasive, non-native species by emailing [email protected] or calling 01302 853941. 

The Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum is a partnership of environmental organisations and governmental bodies headed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and funded by the Environment Agency and DEFRA which is working towards the eradication of giant hogweed and similar invasive species.

Environment Agency officer Andrew Virtue said: “Giant hogweed can spread rapidly along watercourses forming dense colonies that suppress the growth of native plants and grasses.

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“It can also pose a public health risk to those who come into direct contact with it. We would therefore urge landowners to treat this plant if it’s found on their land, thereby helping to prevent its spread. The public can find advice on this and other invasive non-native species at https://www.gov.uk/prevent-the-spread-of-harmful-invasive-and-non-native-plants and can help by reporting the spread of invasive plants through the plant tracker app.”

Ailsa Henderson, project officer at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Currently, as part of the Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum, we have led on a huge mapping project to identify incidences of invasive plants including giant hogweed, so that we can come up with a co-ordinated plan to remove them.”