Invasive Species

As the year progresses, invasive species such as Knotweed species, Himalayan Balsam and Gunnera are starting to regrow and the time to survey for them is fast approaching. MKO are available to complete surveys for invasive species along with management plans for the treatment and/or removal of them where necessary. MKO also provide a treatment service can organise and oversee disposal.

The presence of invasive species and treatment thereof is an important consideration in many situations and for a wide variety of stakeholders including landowners, construction and civil engineering contractors, local authorities and other public and private bodies. It is an offence to cause the dispersal and spread of invasive species that are listed on the third schedule of the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations (2011). Please see below an excerpt and link to information that is available on the Invasive Species Ireland website:

‘under Regulation 49(2) any person who plants, disperses, allows or causes to disperse, spreads or otherwise causes to grow Japanese knotweed or any of the other invasive plants listed in the Third Schedule of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011) shall be guilty of an offence. Furthermore, Sections 52(7) and (8) of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as amended,make it an offence to plant or otherwise cause to grow in a wild state exotic species of plants. (Section 52(7) and (8) of the Wildlife Act, 1976, as inserted by 56(d) of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000.Regulation 49(2) of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011).’

MKO are a specialist contractor in the identification, treatment, control, removal and management of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive plant species.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), is an invasive herbaceous perennial (a plant that can live more than one year). It has spread across Ireland, particularly along watercourses, transport routes and waste grounds where its movement is unrestricted.

Japanese knotweed can:

  • Seriously damage houses, buildings, hard surfaces and infrastructure growing though concrete, tarmac, blocks and other hard surfaces.
  • Riverside Japanese knotweed damages flood defence structures and reduces the capacity of channels to carry flood water.
  • The Environment Agency in the UK has developed a Code of Practice which provides a guide for managing Japanese Knotweed on development sites.
  • If you do find Japanese Knotweed, the key thing is to prevent its spread, it thrives on disturbance.  Do not strim, cut, flail or chip the plants as tiny fragments can regenerate new plants and make the problem worse. You should not dig, move or dump the plant or soil which may contain plant material as this spreads the problem.

To prevent Japanese Knotweed spread...

  • Import only clean soil from known sources
  • Ensure all vehicles and equipment are cleaned to avoid cross contamination
  • Be aware of the threat of colonisation from upstream areas washing Japanese knotweed material downstream
  • Promote native species and biodiversity- use alternative, native plants
  • Know what you are buying/ growing and source native Irish seed and plants
  • Do not swap plants and cuttings
  • Clean plants before adding to ponds (dispose of water away from water courses)
  • Never collect plants from the wild
  • Safe disposal of plants material and growing media
  • Do not compost Japanese knotweed
Newsletter Sign Up
Enter your email below to subscribe to the McCarthy Keville & O'Sullivan newsletter