Invasive Weed Removal Within the Ecology Sector
The UK’s ecology sector plays a vital part in conserving and maintaining ecosystems and native habitats for wildlife and plants. However, the invasive and damaging effects of non-native weeds can cause significant economic and ecological problems within this area. It’s estimated that non-native invasive plants cause about £1.7bn damage to the UK economy on an annual basis. And legislation and parliamentary measures are in place to limit these impacts as much as possible.
About the Growth in Invasive Non-Native Plants in the UK
The growth in international trade and travel over the past 150 years or more encouraged the introduction of non-native plants to the UK, and it’s now recognised that invasive plants are the second biggest threat to losses of global biodiversity, causing eradication of native plants and impacting upon their genetic diversity.
There are around 1,370 non-native plant and freshwater plant species in the UK, but most of these are not considered to be invasive as they make up less than 10% of habitats. Just 108 non-native plants have been classified as truly belonging to the invasive alien plant (IAP) species and these IAPs can cause considerable damage by dominating any habitat and causing the destruction of native plants.