Skip to content

Weeds, invasive plants and moss

Under the Weed Act 1959, enforcement action may be taken on the occupier of land on which injurious weeds are growing, requiring the occupier to take action to prevent their spread.  

The five injurious weeds specified in the Weed Act are: 

  • common ragwort 
  • spear thistle 
  • creeping or field thistle 
  • broad leaved dock 
  • curled dock. 

The Weed Act was amended by the Ragwort Control Act of 2003. We seek to comply with the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs Code of Practice on how to prevent the spread of ragwort.  

Both Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed are dealt with under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. We have an ongoing programme to control Japanese knotweed on our land. 

Weed treatment 

We do not treat weeds on unadopted roads, footpaths or private property. 

Chemical weed control is widely accepted to be the best method of weed control. The main reasons being that manual removal is very labour intensive, it only provides short-term results and can cause damage to the road surface. 

Changes in legislation, along with our responsibility to prevent watercourse pollution and protect the local environment, have restricted the type of weed control products we can use. The products we now use are less effective at treating weeds than those used previously. 

Extended periods of wet weather provide excellent conditions for weed growth. They also reduce the number of suitable days available for successful weed treatment. Every effort is made to ensure visible weeds are treated within our scheduled activities. 

Residents are encouraged to support weed removal by removing weeds along their boundary walls and the footpaths outside their homes. 


Significant moss growth occurs in winter, although build-up can happen during any wet period or in shady, damp or wet areas. Herbicide treatments for moss have become less effective, more expensive and require repeat treatments. For this reason, we do not have the resources to treat moss in this way.