Non-native species are plants or animals which are not native to the area (they have been introduced by the actions of people). Only a small proportion of these are ‘invasive’; causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health or the way we live. In Scotland it is against the law to cause a non-native species to spread into ‘the wild’.

The Council is working to combat invasive non-native species on its own land and across the wider area.

For more information and advice on invasive non-native species visit the Great Britain Non Native Species Secretariat

Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed

Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are two of the most problematic invasive plant species in this area.

Identification sheets are available at:

If you discover Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed

If you report suspected Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed to us, we will do a site visit to verify the identification. If it is on our land we will work to control or eradicate the plant. If it is not on our land we will check our records; if we have the owner’s details we will write to them advising them of the presence of the invasive non-native species and how to treat it.

If we don’t have the owner’s details we advise you to check with Registers of Scotland to establish ownership; there is usually a small fee for this. If you then provide us with the owner’s details we will write to them as above. Call Registers of Scotland on 0800 169 9391. Registers Of Scotland website.

You can report sightings by emailing the Planning and Environment Unit or ringing 01324 504950.

Controlling Japanese Knotweed

Despite its reputation, Japanese Knotweed can be effectively and relatively cheaply controlled. Control options include:

  • Spraying the plants after flowering (Sept-Oct) with a standard glyphosate based weed killer or similar (e.g. Round-up). You will need to repeat the treatment each year for at least 3 or 4 years to fully control the plant. Check the area after that to see if any new plants come up.
  • Inject each stem of the plant with weed killer. This is more effective (often requiring just a couple of years of treatment) but costs more and requires specialist equipment and training.

Note: you need a special license to use pesticides near to a watercourse. See for further advice

It is an offence to cause Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild or to transport any part of the plant off-site without an appropriate waste license.

To avoid spreading Japanese Knotweed

  • Do not strim or mow the plant.
  • Do not put any part of the plant into your compost or green waste bin.
  • Ensure any bits of live plant that are cut or broken off are burnt on site or dried out completely in an area where it cannot re-root (e.g. on a plastic sheet) and then disposed of.
  • Remember the roots can spread a long way from the visible plant (up to 7 metres along and 3 metres down). The soil in this zone may be contaminated with Japanese Knotweed roots.”