Giant Hogweed - Good News but still Dangers

Giant Hogweed is growing fast at this time of year throughout Dunblane and people are reminded of the dangers of this plant.. 

There is good news, it is on the decline and has been for 9 years now since members of DDT and the Community Council first started spraying. Terence O'Byrne reports that he did a first spray in the Laighills late April this year and revisited last week. There are very few plants. 

He has been out on a total of 6 days across the piste, again, few plants but spraying what comes up each year. Stewart Corbett has been helping for the last 3 years, he is doing Kinbuck and Balhaldie.

Terence says : "I looked at my notes from 2016, the areas I sprayed this year required 3 knapsack sprayer loads, in 2016, in excess of 60 loads were required . This demonstrates the effectiveness of our efforts".


 Please see the article from Stirling Council below.

Public warned of Giant Hogweed dangers

For Immediate Issue – Monday 15 May 2023

Stirling residents are being reminded of the dangers of Giant Hogweed and its potentially harmful impact on health at the start of Invasive Species Week (15-21 May).

The invasive and toxic plant is found throughout the UK, mainly by lowland riverbanks, in rough pastures and on wasteland.

Giant Hogweed can grow up to 5m tall and contact must be avoided as the sap is phototoxic, causing serious skin burns under sunlight that can reoccur for many years.

As we head into its growing season, Stirling Council’s Land Services Team has a programme of work to assess and treat hogweed growth on Council land.

If Giant Hogweed is found on private land, however, it is the responsibility of the landowner to take steps to eradicate the plant.

To help raise awareness of the risks of Giant Hogweed, Stirling Council schools and nurseries are also sharing information about the dangerous plant with pupils and families ahead of the summer holidays.

Jen Preston, Convener of the Environment, Transport and Net Zero Committee, said: “We strongly advise the public to show caution around Giant Hogweed as we move into the growing season and the summer months.

“Our staff have been treating the plant in various locations across Stirling this year and we will continue to do all we can to control it on Council land.

“Giant Hogweed is highly invasive and spreads easily. It poses a serious risk to humans and animals and people should not touch any part of the plant, while pets should also be kept away from it.”

Giant Hogweed has long, green stems which branch out into clusters of small white flowers. Typically these are 2-3m in height bearing flower heads up to 80cm across and the lower leaves are often 1m more in size and distinctively spikey.

The weed can be confused with the common hogweed, cow parsley, elderflower or bishop’s lace. It’s set apart by its purple-hued stem, thin spines and leaf stalks covered in spots.

Where it grows, Giant Hogweed out-competes native flowers and reduces species diversity. Due to its hazards it also prevents access.

To report a sighting on Council land, please contact 01786 404040 or fill out our online form. Members of the public can also report an invasive plant sighting on private land via the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative or by contacting the landowner.

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