Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) was introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the mid nineteenth century.

The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 has updated parts of the Wildlife and Countryside Act with regard to offences committed under Section 14. A Magistrates court can impose a maximum penalty of £5000 and a maximum of six months in prison, whereas a Crown Court can impose an unlimited fine and a maximum of two years in prison.

Invasive Species

In the UK there are several invasive species which have implications for developers. They are often species which were brought in from other countries with good intentions, but which have been more successful than the natives. A few examples are listed below.

Japanese Knotweed is a clump forming perennial weed typically found growing on riverbanks, roadsides, derelict wasteland and areas of disturbed soil. Its root system is extremely vigorous and can cause structural damage. It can penetrate hard surfaces such as tarmac and has been known to penetrate through the foundations of houses. It often overtakes and replaces the native flora.

Under Section 14 (2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) it is illegal to spread Japanese Knotweed, which has important implications for you and your contractors when undertaking work on sites where it is present.

Potential development/working sites should be inspected for Japanese Knotweed at the earliest opportunity in order to inform design decisions and build project strategies to avoid possible enforcement action and to lead to the most appropriate, effective and cost-efficient knotweed strategy for the location.

American Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) are much larger and more aggresive than the UK's native White Clawed Crayfish. The signal crayfish out competes the white clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), and eats everything in sight. Including vegetation, fish eggs and insect larvae. The signal crayfish also carries a fungus which is fatal to our native white clawed crayfish. The American signal crayfish also burrows deep into river banks destroying the structure of the river itself. They were originally brought in as a food species in the 1970's but managed to get into the waterways and do immeasurable damage.

American Mink (Mustela vison) was initially brought to the UK in the 1920's and bred for fur. Inevitably some escaped and animal rights activists also proudly released many back into freedom. Ironically killing many of the native animals who could not cope with such a voracious predator. The mink feeds on fish, ground nesting birds and waterfowl and water vole.

For further information on invasive species, and what you can do about them please get in touch.


Case Studies

Protected species surveys in Lydney

August 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES were instructed to carry out ecological surveys on a former golf cours... more...

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Ecological surveys and advice in Congleton

October 2010
In August 2010, United Utilities and their associated agents The Vinden Partnership applied for planning permission for slope stabilisation works adjacent the ... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...

Tarbock Hall Golf Course

January 2010
Tarbock Hall is a 86 hectare parcel of land west of Liverpool. The land was used for agriculture until 2000 when it was sold to a team of developers who wanted ... more...