Worcestershire County Council is the main contractor for carrying out weed control on public footpaths and weed spraying is carried out twice a year between April and September. The timing of the work varies depending upon the weather conditions.
Worcester City Council is responsible for keeping weed growth under control on its own land and we use a number of measures including the use of machinery, hand weeding or hoeing, or use of herbicides to do this. We keep any chemical use to a minimum, carrying out spot spraying where small, localised areas of weeds are targeted only where necessary. Trials are currently underway to find an environmentally friendly method of weed control.
It is not an offense to have invasive plant species growing on your land, but owners and occupiers have a duty to prevent them from spreading to a neighbouring property.
Japanese Knotweed is an invasive non-native plant species that spreads rapidly. In the autumn and winter, it is dormant and cannot be treated, so treatment can only start in the Spring/Summer when new shoots are starting to grow.
Most of the Knotweed in Worcester is on the sloped banks of the riverside and requires specialist contractors to climb down the bank in harnesses as our operatives can only treat up to the top of the bank and up to the edges of the slope due to the health and safety risk.
We work with partners, the Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust to carry out operations in an attempt to eradicate Japanese Knotweed located within the riverside park.
Himalayan balsam is an invasive weed that has spread along watercourses throughout the country. The River Severn is no exception; in recent years we have managed to remove it annually from this site, allowing native vegetation to re-colonise the riverbank. However, the plant reappears each year from seed washed in from upstream; making it necessary to repeat the process annually.
Giant Hogweed is a close relative to cow parsley and although non-native, can now be found throughout much of the UK, especially colonising river banks where its seeds are transported by the water. It can reach over 10ft in height and usually produces a flowering stalk between June and July. It is invasive and potentially harmful, but cannot be removed. To eradicate, it is cut down and the area around the root sprayed.