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Landowners – Know your Invasive Alien Weed Species

Although they may actually look attractive and provide great cover – BEWARE.  These are invasive species of weeds which are now being controlled by  EU regulations.

The European Commission has recently added a further nine plant species to the current list of 14 species covered.

The invasive weed species can be divided into two groups:

Group 1

Examples of those in UK &Ireland and recognised as weeds.

Group 2

Examples of those which could become a threat in the future.

  • Alligator weed
  • Milkweed
  • Japanese stiltgrass
  • Broadleaf watermilfoil
  • Crimson fountaingrass

In October 2017, Ireland’s 3rd National Biodiversity Action Planfor the period 2017-2021 was launched with 7 objectives supported by 119 targeted actions. The Plan sets out actions through which a range of government, civil and private sectors will undertake to achieve Ireland’s ‘Vision for Biodiversity’, and follows on from the work of the first and second National Biodiversity Action Plans.

Target 4.4 states that ‘Harmful invasive alien species are controlled and there is reduced risk of introduction and/or spread of new species.’ This is supported by 7 actions:

4.4.1. Ratify the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments

4.4.2. Develop national and whole island plans to implement the EU Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulation and relevant sections of Ireland’s EU (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 including: development and adoption of biosecurity plans in relevant state bodies; a Rapid Response Protocol for the island of Ireland; coordination and collation of invasive species surveillance and monitoring data; and work with Northern Ireland and UK authorities on invasive species of mutual concern.

4.4.3. Continue and enhance measures for eradication, where feasible, control and containment of invasive species

4.4.4. Encourage horticultural nurseries to produce native species, varieties and landraces from appropriate native sources for public and private sector plantings. Public bodies will endeavour to plant native species in order to reduce importation of non-native species, varieties and landraces.

4.4.5. Continue to produce Risk Assessments for potentially invasive non-native species.

4.4.6. Publish legislation to address required provisions under the EU Regulation on invasive alien species (No. 1143/2014) and on responsibilities and powers regarding invasive alien species, giving IFI responsibility for aquatic invasive species.

4.4.7 Work with horticultural and pet trades to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive alien species.

For more information and to download the National Biodiversity Action Plan see National Parks and Wildlife Service website: