Schedule 9 Part 2 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in England and Wales. Where it is stated that it is an offence to facilitate the spread of any animal or plant on the list into the wild. There are approximately 40 plants currently on the list. Offences are punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.
Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in England, Wales and Scotland. Where waste containing any part of a schedule 9 plant that could facilitate the spread of the species is classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of in a suitable waste facility. Specifically for Japanese Knotweed material and soil containing rhizome is deemed controlled waste.
Control of pesticides Regulations 1986 in England, Wales and Scotland. Where persons using pesticides must take all reasonable precautions to protect health of people and wildlife.
There is other legislation that can affect landowners including third-party legislation where you can be sued for costs of control and damages caused if you allow these species to spread from your property to an adjacent landowner. Non-compliance with any of the above acts can result in prosecution and/or significant expense to the landowner; there are also undesirable knock-on effects that follow these actions such as bad publicity.
It is not against the law to have Japanese Knotweed present on your property. If the landowner can take reasonable steps to exercise all due diligence to avoid the spread of the plant then they will be better protected against prosecution. Landowners should have an effective management plan in place for their property and be able to prove that they are following it.
There are a number of plants that have legislation associated with them. Japanese Knotweed is one of these.
It is important to understand the legislation relating to the control and disposal of these highly invasive non-native species.
The main pieces of legislation covering these plants are as follows:
Manningtree, Brantham Felixstowe Chelsmford
Braintree Clacton. Frinton Hadleigh Woodbridge