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Weed wars turn criminal

GardenDrum

GardenDrum

November 3, 2014
Japanese knotweed. Photo Leonora Enking

Japanese knotweed. Photo Leonora Enking

Could you end up with a criminal record for growing a weed (no, not even that one). In the UK the answer is yes!

Giant Hogweed at Gilford Castle Photo Albert Bridge

Giant Hogweed at Gilford Castle Photo Albert Bridge

UK homeowners can now be fined for continuing to allow noxious weeds to grow in their gardens under new UK Home Office anti-social behaviour laws (Anti-social Behaviour Order or ASBOs). Invasive non-native plants are causing a serious problem in residential areas and are causing damage to forestry, agriculture & infrastructure.

Himalayan balsam closing in: geograph.org.uk Photo John Tustin

Himalayan balsam closing in: geograph.org.uk Photo John Tustin

Anti social behaviour laws had previously targeted intimidation and heavy drinking. This is the first time that growing specific plants such as Japanese knotweed, Giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam has also been considered antisocial. Ironically while some ignorant gardeners are growing these plants because they like the look of them, Britain at the same time has spent approximately £1.25 billion trying to eradicate the weeds.

Individuals who do not remove plants can receive an on-the-spot penalty of £100 or criminal prosecution. If they still fail to remove the plant they can be fined £2,500.

So beware of nosey neighbours and don’t give them a reason to dob you into police for harbouring an ‘illegal’ weed!

Do you think growing declared weeds should be a criminal offence?

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Eugene
Eugene
9 years ago

An emphatic no from me. I don’t want to give these bossy nativist hysterics any more control than they already have.

A lot of this is driven by the sly, subtle and skilled lobbyists for the big chemical companies. They have managed to successfully fool both the left and the right in politics to selectively demonise successful, niche filling plants.