Halt the invasion! We are being invaded, not by aliens but by Non-Native Invasive Weeds!
Non-native invasive weeds (NNIW) are plants that have been introduced and are now growing in places where they are not native or are out of their natural range. There are a number of weeds in the UK that are now classified as invasive, the best known 3 being Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. (see photos above).
These weeds have the ability to grow and spread very quickly and extensively and damage the ecosystem that they are introduced into.
NNIW’s have a very negative impact on our environment and our native species, and are the second largest cause of international loss of biological diversity. NNIWs can out-compete important native species resulting in their disappearance from some areas, can disrupt processes in the ecosystem such as insect pollination and can also cause increased erosion of soil and the risk of flooding. In many cases human activity is the main mechanism for the spread of these weeds.
NNIW’s should not be under estimated, as they are extremely difficult and costly to control and the longer they are ignored the more costly it gets. Japanese Knotweed in particular, is able to find weak spots and cracks and undermine structures and construction materials such as concrete and tarmac resulting in significant repair costs. There are reports and photos of Japanese Knotweed growing up through the floor in peoples houses.
The Avon Invasive Weed Forum is an independent group who are aiming to raise the awareness of non-native invasive species in Avon, work out where they are, work with other organisations to attempt to control them, and provide current accurate information to anybody needing to know more about these weeds and their control. For more information about who we are see the Who page.