Japanese Knotweed Ireland

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant that is slowly but surely invading Ireland. Japanese Knotweed is one of Ireland’s most unwanted species and it poses both huge environmental and economic threats.

It is one of the fastest growing and most destructive plants and the speed at which it has spread throughout Ireland is nothing short of extraordinary.

Japanese Knotweed Ireland 1940
Japanese Knotweed Ireland 1980
Japanese Knotweed Ireland 2016

It is being warned that planning permission could soon be refused for houses and other buildings on lands in Ireland infested by Japanese Knotweed.

Japanese knotweed in Ireland and the law

Japanese knotweed in Ireland and the law

Currently, Regulations 49 and 50 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 make it an offence to:

  • Plant, disperse, allow dispersal or cause the spread of Japanese knotweed.
  • Keep the plant in possession for the purpose of sale, breeding, reproduction, propagation, distribution, introduction or release.
  • Keep anything from which the plant can be reproduced or propagated from without a granted licence.
  • Keep any vector material, in this case soil or spoil taken from Japanese knotweed, for the purposes of breeding, distribution, introduction or release.
Japanese Knotweed Ireland - The River Laune in Killorglin Co Kerry
Japanese Knotweed Ireland - The River Laune in Killorglin Co Kerry 2

The River Laune in Killorglin Co Kerry where it is estimated that a fifth of the river bank is Japanese Knotweed infested.

Individual county councils are providing information leaflets on the plant detailing how to identify the plant and what steps to take to ensure that individuals do not unknowingly cause the plant to spread. Unfortunately, the very fact that people do not recognise the plant is a significant reason as to why it can invade and expand unnoticed for a time.

In Ireland the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht set up the National Biodiversity Data Centre and they collate, manage, analyse and disseminate data on Ireland’s biodiversity.

Japanese knotweed falls under their remit, this data centre collects and records data of areas affected by Japanese knotweed and then works together with state bodies, local authorities, NGO’s and interested groups to tackle the threat of the invasive species.


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