Forum’s vision: Halt the invasion and negative effects of non-native weeds in Avon.

Who are we?

We are an independent forum with representation from stakeholder organisations and community groups listed at the bottom of the page. Together we aim to co-ordinate the control of NNIWs in Avon.

As the cost of controlling NNIW is so high and we are currently an unfunded organisation we as a forum are focusing more towards the aims and objectives seen below:

Forum’s Aims and Objectives:

We will work in the former Avon area to:

1. Raise awareness of non-native invasive weeds (INNS) by:

  • Attending and organising events
  • Producing leaflets
  • Website and Social Media
  • Publicity
  • Involving the community


2. Identify and record the existence of INNS by:

  • prioritising areas for surveying
  • organising and conducting surveys
  • recording and making available data gathered by surveys

3. Gaining support for the forum by:

  • getting interested parties to sign up to the forum and make a pledge to prevent the spread of INNS

4. Support research into INNS by:

  • Identifying research opportunities in partnership with local universities and colleges.
  • Seeking alternative methods of control
  • Identifying potential future INNS, their threat and means of control

5. Co-ordinate the control of INNS by:

  • Identifying who currently has a INNS control programme
  • Producing a risk assessment tool to identify high risk areas
  • Attempting to get organisations with current control programmes to target those areas of higher risk
  • Encouraging other responsible landowners to take action to safely control INNS on their land.

6. Gain resource to allow the forum to do as much of the above as possible by:

  • Requesting help with resource from members and other sources
  • Identifying and applying for potential funding


How the forum was born:

During recent partnership work between the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council and community groups it became apparent that there is an increasing problem with Non-Native Invasive Weeds and INNS in Avon. Many different organisations and individuals appear to be affected by INNS with some attempting to control these weeds. These people have reported that it is difficult to find current accurate information on how to control such weeds, with no one source for this information.

It was identified that Avon lacks a mechanism for the co-ordination of INNS control. Further research showed that the areas within the country that are better at raising awareness, providing advice and controlling the INNS are those areas that have established a forum to co-ordinate this work. Examples of this can be seen in Cornwall, Merseyside and Swansea. The non-native invasive weed strategy for Bristol City’s watercourses was written in which the establishment of such a forum was prioritised.

An event was held in September 2007 in Bristol where over 50 stakeholders and interested parties were invited along to learn more about the problem. They were asked whether they thought a forum is the right approach for Avon. The answer was unanimous YES. They were then asked what the forum should do, how it should be structured, who should be involved and what steps should be taken towards its establishment.

Following the event all ideas were considered and on the 19 February 2008 the 1st core group meeting took place at the Create Centre in Bristol. This marked the birth of the forum and the minutes for the 1st forum meeting can be viewed in further info. As a starting point we aim to focus on the three main weeds Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed in and around the higher risk corridor environments such as watercourses, railways and roads.

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