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Horticultural Code of Practice

Horticulture Code of Practice

Helping to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species

Advice and guidance on the safe use, control and disposal of invasive non-native plants for everyone engaged in horticulture and related activities that involve the use of plants.

Foreword

Scope

Aim

Background: Why a Code is needed

Legal framework

Responsibilities to control the spread of invasive non-native plants

Assessing the risk of invasive non-native plants

Guidelines and Guidance

The working group on the Horticultural Code of Practice

Arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the code

Glossary

Annex A - Government departments/agencies and statutory authorities

Annex B - Contact details for horticultural organisations

Annex C - Sources of technical advice on invasive species for gardeners and landscapers etc.

Annex D - Extract from Section 14B of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Annex E - References

 



 

FOREWORD


 

Invasive non-native species are one of the single most important threats to biodiversity across the world, and they are putting Scotland's own unique natural heritage at risk.

Many of us will be familiar with the sight of highly invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, squeezing out our native plants on riverbanks, road verges and wild land across Scotland. Some of us will also be aware of the problems caused for woodland habitats as a result of rhododendron infestation.

Even a widespread native like Scotland's wild hyacinth is under increasing threat from hybridisation with garden escapees. There is significant concern, too, about the ecological damage which can be done by exotic aquatic plants when allowed to escape into the wider environment.

Not all non-native species are damaging. We all benefit from non-native species in a great many ways. Modern gardening, agriculture and forestry would not be possible, or nearly as productive and enjoyable, without them.

The difficulties start when non-native species are planted in the wild or begin to spread into new habitats, out-competing some of our most valuable and vulnerable native flora. So it is important that we learn to use non-native plants wisely and responsibly and are aware of those that can cause harm.

This code has been produced for all those involved in horticulture - from the amateur gardener to the wholesale importer - and provides practical guidance on dealing with invasive non-native species. In adhering to this code we can all do our bit to reduce the threat from invasive non-native species and help to safeguard Scotland's remarkably rich and diverse natural environment.

The vast majority of problem-species were originally introduced innocently, if misguidedly. I believe that education and greater awareness of potential risks are our best defences against future threats.

When necessary, there are also significant penalties available to the courts. In that connection I am approving this code as guidance for the purposes of section 14B of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. In future, the Scottish courts will be entitled to take account of the code when considering cases involving non-native species. Breach of the code will not itself be an offence. But I hope that the code will provide a benchmark for responsible conduct.

The production of this code has only been possible with the support and assistance of both the horticultural trade and environmental groups. It could not have been done without their wealth of experience and expertise. I am grateful to all those who have contributed.

I would urge everyone with an interest in plants and horticulture to read this code and to follow the advice contained within it.

This code was launched in 2005 by the then Deputy Minister, Lewis MacDonald

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CODE OF PRACTICE

Scope


 

1. This Code applies to everyone engaged in horticulture and related activities that involve the use of plants in Great Britain.

This Code has been issued in Scotland as guidance for the purposes of section 14B of the Wildlife and Countryside 1981 [1].

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Aim


 

2. The Code is voluntary. However it aims to promote a standard of reasonable behaviour that, if followed carefully, will help ensure compliance with legislation and prevent the spread of invasive non-native species [2] into the countryside.

3. This Code is available on the Scottish Executive Website ( www.scotland.gov.uk/invasivespecies). If you require a printed copy please contact the Scottish Executive. The electronic version will be kept up-to-date with any amendments in legislation, best available techniques, changes to websites or information on newly discovered invasive non-native plants or animals. This Code may be downloaded and printed; however, to ensure you have the latest version you should always refer to the Scottish Executive website ( www.scotland.gov.uk).

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Background: Why a code is needed


 

4. One of the primary threats to Great Britain's native plants and habitats is from invasions of non-native plants, many of which were introduced into gardens and parks over the last couple of centuries and have subsequently escaped "over the garden wall" into our countryside. When these plants were introduced, the gardeners of the time could not have foreseen the problems that some of these plants would eventually cause. Decisions on plant selection have generally been made in line with the custom and practice of the time. Almost certainly, no plants have been introduced with the deliberate intention of causing harm to native wildlife or other interests.

5. When non-native species become invasive they can transform ecosystems, and threaten native and endangered species. Invasive non-native species also damage economic interests, such as agriculture, forestry and infrastructure, and can threaten public health. The problems they cause are serious; so serious that the introduction of invasive non-native species is identified as one of the main causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. This includes the loss of the distinctive local biodiversity that makes each area special. With increasing global trade and world travel, these problems are likely to continue to increase. [3]

6. Many non-native plants do not become invasive nor cause problems. Indeed, the horticulture industry would not be as successful or the private and public gardens in Great Britain so beautiful and varied, without the non-native plants that are imported and cultivated. This Code does not seek to stop trade in these plants. However, by setting out good practice for all those involved in horticulture it does seek to prevent the further spread of invasive non-native plants into our landscapes and natural habitats, where they become a danger to the environment and costly to control.

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Legal framework


 

International

7. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provides an overarching international framework for action, including the development of a set of guiding principles for the conservation of biological diversity. This Convention requires contracting parties as far as possible and as appropriate, to prevent the introduction of, and control or eradicate, alien (i.e. non-native) species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species (see www.biodiv.org/programmes/cross-cutting/alien/ for more details). Other international conventions and agreements (for example the Bern Convention) address invasive non-native species to some extent. In December 2003, the Bern Convention produced its strategy on invasive non-native species within the Convention area see:

www.coe.int/t/e/Cultural_Co-operation/Environment/Nature_and_biological_diversity/Nature_protection/sc24_inf01e.pdf?L=E.

European

8. The main areas of relevant European Union legislation include the EC Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the EC Plant Health Directive (2000/29/EC) (see www.europa.eu.int). The EC Habitats Directive requires Member States to regulate deliberate introductions of non-native species so as not to prejudice natural habitats or wild native fauna and flora, and where necessary, to prohibit such introductions. In Great Britain, this is transposed into domestic legislation by Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004. The EC Plant Health Directive guards against the import of non-indigenous plant pests, this is implemented by the Plant Health (Great Britain) Order 1993 (as amended). The Scottish Executive is responsible for implementing the Order in Scotland and Defra is similarly responsible for England and Wales (on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales).

Great Britain

9. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004) is the principal legislation which regulates the release of non-native species. Section 14(2) prohibits the release of certain invasive non-native plants into the wild in Great Britain; it is an offence under Section 14(2) to "plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild" any plants listed on Part II of Schedule 9.

10. In Scotland, the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 includes measures to address further the threats posed by hybrids and the unauthorised release of non-native species. The Act also improves the ability of Ministers to respond effectively to new threats posed by non-native species by providing a discretionary power to issue or approve guidance in relation to non-native species, by allowing greater flexibility in updating and amending Schedule 9 of the 1981 Act (which lists species which are established and which are prohibited from further release), and by prohibiting the sale of certain non-native animals and plants.

11. This Schedule can be amended by Scottish Ministers at any time (or by the Secretary of State in England or Wales). There is no duty to report any plant listed on Schedule 9. Copies of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments can be obtained from The Stationery Office ( www.tso.co.uk). Offences under Section 14 in Scotland carry the following penalties:

- on summary conviction a £40,000 fine and / or six months in prison, or,

- on conviction on indictment to a fine and / or imprisonment of up to 2 years.

12. Section 33 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that a person shall not:

(a) deposit controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on any land unless a waste management licence authorising that deposit is in force and the deposit is in accordance with the licence;

(b) treat, keep or dispose of controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be treated, kept or disposed of-

(i) in or on any land, or

(ii) by means of a mobile plant, except under and in accordance with a waste management licence

(c) treat keep or dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health

A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable-

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £20,000 or both (in Scotland the maximum fine is £40,000 under amendments introduced by the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004); and

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

13. Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty of care on all non-domestic waste producers to ensure that any wastes are disposed of safely and that a written description of the wastes, and any specific harmful properties, are provided to the site operator. Householders are covered by Section 33 of the Act. Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed and soil containing particles of these plants are regarded as controlled waste. Further information on controlled waste can be obtained from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and by the Environment Agency ( www.environment-agency.gov.uk) in England and Wales.

14. Problems are also caused by invasive native weeds, such as common ragwort. This is beyond the scope of this Code, however, further information on the Weeds Act 1959, which is the legislation which pertains to such species is available online at

www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Agriculture/Environment/Agrienvironment/RuralSteward
/RSSguidance/RSSpart4a/RSSweeds

www.Defra.gov.uk/environ/weedsact/default.htm.

15. Plant Health legislation (principally the Plant Health (Great Britain) Order 1993) implements the EC Plant Health Directive, 2000/29. Similar legislation applies in Northern Ireland. It requires all plants that are permitted to enter Great Britain from non-EC countries to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. This is essentially a statement that the plants have been officially inspected in the country of origin, in order to ensure that they comply with the EC's import requirements and are free from specified pests and diseases and substantially free from other harmful organisms. All plants entering Great Britain are liable to inspection by plant health inspectors on arrival to ensure that they meet import requirements and are free from pests and diseases. The Plant Health Order 1993 gives inspectors powers to require the destruction, detention, or re-export of plants which do not meet import requirements or which are carrying pests and diseases. The legislation also requires many plants moved within the European Community to be accompanied by a plant passport. Like the Phytosanitary certificate, this is an indication of freedom from specified pests and diseases.

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Responsibilities to control the spread of invasive non-native plants


 

16. This Code contains links to guidance on the best available techniques for control and disposal of invasive non-native plants that should help to minimise their spread for use by landowners who decide to undertake their control and removal. There is currently no statutory obligation to control or report the location of invasive non-native plants.

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Assessing the risk of invasive non-native plants


 

17. Because of the threat that Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed pose to native ecosystems, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 make it an offence to plant or cause to grow in the wild (see paragraph 9 for details). There are also several other non-native plants not currently listed on Schedule 9 that are invasive and that have become established in the countryside.

18. Some other non-native plants may not be invasive at present but have the potential to become so in the future, for example, as climate change causes conditions which are more favourable for them. There is also usually a lag phase before a species becomes invasive. Kowarick (1995) identified that, on average, there was a time lag of 147 years (170 years for trees and 131 for shrubs) between the introduction of the species and the initiation of invasion. Therefore, even in the absence of climate change, considering the recent rate of introductions into Britain by the horticultural trade and others, an increased rate of future invasions can be anticipated. The Scottish Executive and Defra are funding research into a risk assessment methodology, with the long term aim of developing a package that would allow the scientific risk assessment of any plant or animal. Those plants deemed to pose the highest potential risk to native wildlife may be placed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in the future.

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Guidelines and Guidance


 

19. The information below provides sources of guidelines and good practice that if followed, will help prevent the spread of invasive non-native plants. This list is not exhaustive and website links are subject to change.

20. The Working Group on the Horticultural Code of Practice strongly encourages any organisation or company involved in selling, planting, or the management and disposal of plants to ensure that all staff or volunteers are aware of and comply with the Horticultural Code of Practice for invasive non-native plants.

Know what you are growing - all users

This section contains guidance for all those engaged in horticulture and related activities that involved the use of plants in Great Britain.

21. If you are unsure whether a non-native plant has invasive qualities, it is good practice to take a precautionary approach and follow the guidance contained in this Code to help keep plants "in the garden". It is also worth giving careful consideration to a non-native plant's invasive qualities when you exchange plants with friends, or grow plants from imported seeds. This Code does not deal with specific information on individual plants. However, the following organisations' websites contain information on the biology and identification of plants:

The Environment Agency (for aquatic invasive non-native species)

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/conservation/840870/840894/840941/?version=1&Iang=_e

The Centre for Aquatic Plant Management (for aquatic invasive non-native

species)

http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/pie/JonathanGrp/JonathanInformationSheets.htm

lThe Cornwall Knotweed Forum (for Japanese knotweed)

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment/knotweed/

The Applied Vegetation Dynamics Laboratory (for all invasive non-native

species) http://www.appliedvegetationdynamics.co.uk/

The Global Invasive Species Programme (for general information on invasive

non-native species biology) http://www.gisp.org/ecology/index.asp?side=3

The Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew (for one of the most important botanical

reference sources in the world) http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/library/index.html

Beware of hitch-hiking pests on plants and in soil -

importers/buyers

This section contains guidance for those involved in the import of any plants, for example, nurseries, superstores, garden centres, botanic collections, aquarists.

22. Plant Health Regulations relate to pathogens and pests and not to potentially invasive plants or seeds transported unintentionally. It is therefore good practice to quarantine imported plant material by keeping it well away and isolated from locally produced plants and those growing in the wild.

23. There are dedicated websites that clearly explain the statutory requirements for the importation of plants:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Agriculture/plant/17937/10774

http://www.defra.gov.uk/planth/impexp.htm

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Learning/research/conservation_and_environment_abroad.asp

24. Topsoil should be free of weeds and all viable propagules of invasive non-native species, rhizomes, seeds, corms etc. Always ask for a representative sample and seek guidance on the source. Inspect on delivery. See British Standard number 3882 for the Recognition and Classification of Topsoil (see http://bsonline.techindex.co.uk

25. The Code of Practice to Prevent the Spread of Non-indigenous Flatworms, developed between SEERAD and Defra, can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/planth/pestnote/flat.htm. The Code is a practical guide to help producers and traders of nursery stock to detect and thereby to limit the spread of non-indigenous flatworms, notably the New Zealand flatworm, Arthurdendyus triangulatus , and the Australian flatworm, Australoplana sanguinea.

Know what you are supplying/selling - suppliers/retailers

This section contains guidance for those involved in the supply or retail of plants, for example, nurseries, superstores, garden centres, aquarists.

26. Invasive non-native plants are not good garden or pond plants. There are usually many alternative plants better suited to gardens or ponds. Avoid selling non-native plants that are known to be invasive and are already posing a threat to native biodiversity. If you continue to sell invasive non-native plants then as a very minimum ensure they are clearly and correctly named, labelled and give an indication of growth rates. Labels on plants should identify the dangers to the wider environment if these plants were to escape from gardens or horticultural premises.

27. There are many pieces of legislation affecting retailers and retail activities and the requirements change regularly. The British Retail Consortium publication - A Retailer's Guide to Legal Compliance - outlines these requirements and offers retailers guidance about how to operate them (see www.brc.org.uk/brctrading/publications_guides.htm).

28. The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it an offence to apply a false or misleading description to goods. Descriptions can be given verbally, in writing, by illustration or by implication. This is a strict liability offence therefore it is possible for a trader to commit an offence without intending to do so. Information relating to the Sale of Goods Act and Trade Descriptions Act can be found on the Trading Standards Central website ( www.tradingstandards.gov.uk). The site is supported and maintained by the Trading Standards Institute (the TSI). It provides a wealth of information for consumers and businesses, schools, advice and information centres,community organisations, local councils, business support agencies and trade associations.

29. Information on plants which you are advised 'not to stock' can be found on the websites of the following organisations:

PlantLife International

( http://www.plantlife.org.uk/html/influencing_change/influencing_change_campaigns_alien.htm)

The Ornamental and Aquatic Trade Organisation ( www.ornamentalfish.org)

Royal Horticultural Society

( http://www.rhs.org.uk/Learning/research/Conservation_and_environment_nonnative.asp)

Gardening Which?

( http://www.which.net/gardeningwhich/campaigns/aiplants.html)

Label plants clearly and accurately - suppliers/retailers

This section contains guidance for those involved in the supply or retail of plants, for example, horticulturalists, nurseries, garden centres, aquarists, voluntary organisations.

30. Invasive non-native plants are not good garden or pond plants, they are invasive in gardens as well as the countryside. These plants tend to require high maintenance within the garden and generate copious waste that must be disposed of with care. There are usually many alternative plants better suited to gardens or ponds. Where potentially invasive non-native plants are sold, ensure they are clearly and correctly named, labelled and give an indication of growth rates. Labels on plants should identify the dangers to the wider environment if these plants should escape from gardens. Information relating to the Sale of Goods Act and Trade Descriptions Act can be found on the Trading Standards Central website ( www.tradingstandards.gov.uk). Always use the correct Latin genus and species name in conjunction with the common name to avoid confusion. If you are not certain of the correct Latin name you should not be selling the plant. If you are unsure what the plant is do not sell it.

31. Information about the Horticultural Trades Association voluntary Code of Practice on labelling of plants can be found at www.the-hta.org.uk (members only can access this voluntary Code, non-members should email info@the-hta.org.uk with enquiries about the plant labelling Code).

Know what you are specifying - landscape architects, garden

designers, design engineers, tutors, authors and publishers

of gardening books

This section contains guidance for those identifying species to be used in planting schemes, for example landscape architects, garden designers, design engineers, landscape and garden course tutors, authors and publishers of gardening books.

32. Do not specify invasive non-native plants. Always use the correct Latin genus and species name in conjunction with the common name to avoid confusion. Be aware of the current lists of plants considered to be problematic or invasive (see paragraph 25). Consider revising or withdrawing old publications encouraging the use of invasives such as Azolla filiculoides and Crassula helmsii.

The Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew

www.rbgkew.org.uk/uhtbin/cgisirsi/BG64e6YsOE/177130033/123

The Royal Horticultural Society

www.rhs.org.uk/rhsplantfinder/plantnaming.asp

Dispose of plant waste responsibly - never fly-tip in the

countryside - all users

This section contains guidance for those responsible for the disposal of garden or horticultural waste, for example, gardeners, botanic collections, landscape architects, garden designers, allotment holders, local authorities, garden contractors, developers.

33. Plant material should never be disposed of in the countryside or even over the garden fence. Much can be composted or taken to municipal recycling centres. Remember that controlled waste (see paragraph 13) must be disposed of in accordance with Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which applies to both commercial and domestic waste producers.

34. Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty of care on all non-domestic waste producers to ensure that any wastes are disposed of safely and that a written description of the wastes and any specific harmful properties is provided to the site operator. A Duty of Care Code of Practice is available from www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/management/doc/index.htm. Soil and waste containing any invasive non-native weed is deemed to have the potential to cause ecological harm and therefore does not qualify for exemption of Section 34 of the Environment Protection Act 1990. Further information on waste regulations can be found on www.environment-agency.gov.uk/netregs.

35. Some weeds should not be composted for example, Japanese knotweed. Advice about the disposal of Japanese knotweed, including a Code of Practice for its management, destruction and disposal on development sites and sites of production, is available from www.environment-agency.gov.uk and www.sepa.org.uk. For information on whether you can burn garden waste in your area contact your local authority; to find contact details for your area, see the Direct Government website at www.direct.gov.uk.

36. Advice on composting can be found on the following organisations websites:

The Ornamental and Aquatic Trade Association (for aquatic plants)

( www.ornamentalfish.org/aquanautconservation/invasiveplants.php)

The Royal Horticultural Society (for practicalities of composting for gardeners)

( www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0903/compost_heap.asp)

The Composting Association ( http://www.organics-recycling.org.uk/ )

The Soil Association ( www.soilassociation.org)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme

( http://www.wrap.org.uk/materials/organics/compost_specifications/index.html)

Henry Doubleday Research Association ( www.hdra.org.uk)

Know what you are buying - consumer/end-user

This section contains guidance for all those buying plants, for example, gardeners, landscape architects, garden designers, garden contractors, local authorities.

37. Avoid using plants or seeds known to be invasive, consider alternatives and when using native plants, use those of local origin from certified sources where available. (See Flora Locale's Guidance Note "Planting with wildlife in mind: An overview of issues concerning the sourcing and use of native plants" at www.floralocale.org) It is also worth giving serious consideration to a non-native plant's invasive qualities when you exchange plants with friends so that you don't pass the problem on. Check all plants supplied against specifications - it is important to ensure when buying plants that you get what you ask for.

Take advice on best control techniques - all users

This section contains guidance for those wanting to control invasive non-native plants, for example, gardeners, local authorities, garden contractors, landscape architects, garden designers, voluntary organisations, other land managers.

38. Invasive plants can be difficult to control but timely action will reduce the scale of the task. With species like Buddleia, that spread by seed, deadheading immediately after flowering will reduce the problem. For plants with strong rhizome systems use root barrier fabrics to contain their spread. Gardeners have access to a limited range of effective herbicides compared with professional contractors. For guidance on how to find a contractor see

www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0203/contractors.asp.

39. For information on the best available control techniques for invasive non-native species see:

The Environment Agency

( http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/conservation/840870/840894/840941/?version=1&lang=_e)

The Centre for Aquatic Plant Management

( http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/pie/JonathanGrp/JonathanInformationSheets.html)

The Royal Horticultural Society

( www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0604/japanese_knotweed.asp)

Be aware of relevant legislation - all users

This section contains guidance on legislation for everyone who uses plants.

40. Legislation regarding non-native plants and their safe control and disposal should be followed at all times. Further details on EU and GB plant health legislation can be found on the Defra website, www.defra.gov.uk/planth/ph.htm.

41. For information on Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and how this has been affected by the provisions introduced by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, contact the Scottish Executive. For queries in England and Wales contact Defra or the Welsh Assembly Government (see Annex A for contact details.)

42. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) is not available as a consolidated document electronically from The Stationery Office website. Paper copies and Statutory Instruments amending the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are available from The Stationery Office ( www.tso.co.uk).

43. For information on The Weeds Act 1959, see

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Agriculture/Environment/Agrienvironment/RuralSteward
/RSSguidance/RSSpart4a/RSSweeds

www.Defra.gov.uk/environ/weedsact/default.htm.

44. For the Ragwort Control Act 2003, or the Environment Protection Act 1990 see

www.tso.co.uk.

Control invasive non-native plants safely - all users

This section contains guidance on health and safety and environmental safety for those wanting to control problem plants, for example, gardeners, landscape architects, garden contractors, local authorities.

45. Care should be taken when using herbicides and machinery. The use of herbicides near water is illegal, unless you are properly qualified. There is a requirement to consult the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, or the Environment Agency (in England and Wales). Guidance for the control of invasive weeds in or near fresh water can be found on the Environment Agency website at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/commondata/105385/booklet_895604.pdf.

46. Manufacturers instructions and recommendations on mixing and use of herbicides must always be followed. It is a statutory requirement under the Control of Pesticide Regulations (1986) that the instructions on the container label are followed when using any approved herbicide.

47. Only herbicides and uses approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (as amended) or the Plant Protection Products Regulations can legally be sold, supplied, stored, advertised and used. Current lists of approved products can be found on the Pesticides Safety Directorate website at www.pesticides.gov.uk. The range of pesticides available to the amateur gardener is limited, however, the guidance above on safe use applies.

48. Further information on undertaking a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment can be found at http://www.coshh-essentials.org.uk/. General information relating to Health and Safety can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk.

49. Many species of plants are not toxic to humans, although care should always be taken to check toxicity before handling plants. The sap of giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is known to contain a toxic chemical that sensitises the skin and can lead to severe blistering when exposed to sunlight. The following websites give guidance on the precautions that should be taken when controlling this plant, www.environment-agency.gov.uk and www.capm.org.uk.

50. Information on poisonous plants can be found from:

The Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew

www.rbgkew.org.uk/scihort/nightshade.html

The Royal Horticulture Society

www.rhs.org.uk/conservation/conservation_and_environment_harmful.asp

The Horticultural Trade Association www.the-hta.org (members only can access information on poisonous plants).

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The Working Group on the Horticultural Code of Practice


 

51. In 2001, recognising concerns that present arrangements for handling issues relating to non-native species were insufficient, Defra commissioned a Review of Non-native Species Policy. A range of organisations was represented on the working group, and its report was published in March 2003 ( www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/resprog/findings/non-native/index.htm). The report contained eight key recommendations, one of which, was to "Develop codes of conduct to help prevent introductions for all relevant sectors in a participative fashion involving all relevant stakeholders".

52. In its response to the Review report, the Government, endorsed the importance of measures to prevent further unwanted introductions of non-native species and considered the development of codes of practice as a sensible and proportionate way to proceed.

53. The use of non-native species in horticulture is widely recognised as an introductory pathway, and one where there is no blanket prohibition on introductions into the wild (as there is for animals, for example). Good practice therefore has the potential to deliver significant benefits in terms of preventing introduction and spread of non-native plants, where these are likely to cause problems. There has been increasing awareness of the issue in the horticultural sector and an indication from a number of organisations that they would support codes of practice. The Government decided to initiate discussions with the horticulture industry and relevant interests with a view to developing and piloting a code of practice for the horticulture industry, aimed at encouraging best practice and avoiding unwanted introductions.

54. The working group is comprised of the Scottish Executive, Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, Gardening Which?, the Garden Centres Association, the Horticultural Trades Association, the Royal Horticultural Society, the National Trust, the Ornamental and Aquatic Trades Association, Plantlife International, and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew).

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Arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the Code


 

55. We would welcome any suggestions for improving this code of practice.

56. New information or research on invasive non-native species may justify a review of this Code.

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Glossary


 

BALI British Association of Landscape Industries

CAPM Centre for Aquatic Plant Management

CBD Convention on Biological Diversity

Defra Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EC European Community

EU European Union

HTA Horticultural Trades Association

ILAM Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management

LI Landscape Institute

NFU National Farmers Union

OATA Ornamental and Aquatic Trade Association

RBG Royal Botanic Gardens

RHS Royal Horticultural Society

SE The Scottish Executive

SEERAD Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department

SEPA The Scottish Environment Protection Agency

TSO The Stationery Office

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Annex A


 

Contact details for Government Departments/Agencies and other

Statutory Authorities

Scottish Executive

Victoria Quay

Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Enquiry Line: +44 (0)8457 7 41741(local call rate within UK)

Email (enquiries) : ceu@scotland.gov.uk

www.scotland.gov.uk

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Nobel House

17 Smith Square

London

SW1P 3JR

Defra Helpline by telephone on 08459 33 55 77 or by email at helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk

www.defra.gov.uk

Welsh Assembly Government

Cathays Park

Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Tel: 029 20 825111

www.wales.gov.uk

The Environment Agency

Telephone enquiries: 08708 506 506

www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Erskine Court

Castle Business Park

Stirling

FK9 4TR

Tel: 01786 457700

www.sepa.org.uk

The Health and Safety Executive

HSE Infoline

Caerphilly Business Park

Caerphilly, CF83 3GG

Telephone 08701 545500

Email hseinformationservices@natbrit.com

www.hse.gov.uk

Pesticides Safety Directorate

Mallard House

Kings Pool

3 Peasholme Green

York

YO1 2PX

Information Services Team on +44 (0)1904 455775.

www.pesticides.gov.uk

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Annex B


 

Contact details for horticultural organisations

The Garden Centre Association

19 High Street,

Theale,

RG7 5AH

Tel: 0118 932 3360

Email: info@gca.org.uk

www.gca.org.uk

The Horticultural Trades Association

Horticulture House,

19 High Street,

Theale,

RG7 5AH

Tel: 0118 930 3132

Email: info@the-hta.org.uk

www.the-hta.org.uk

National Farmers' Union Scotland

Head Office

Rural Centre - West Mains

Ingliston

Midlothian

EH28 8LT

Tel: 0131 472 4000

E-mail: webmaster@nfus.org.uk

www.nfus.org.uk

National Farmers' Union

Agriculture House

164 Shaftesbury Avenue

London

WC2H 8HL

Tel: 020 7331 7200

Email: nfu@nfuonline.com

www.nfu.org.uk

Ornamental and Aquatic Trades Association (OATA)

Wessex House

40 Station Road

Westbury

Wiltshire

BA13 3JN

Tel: 0870 0434013

Email: info@ornamentalfish.org

www.ornamentalfish.org

The Royal Horticultural Society

80 Vincent Square

London

SW1P 2PE

Telephone 020 7834 4333

Email:info@rhs.org.uk

www.rhs.org.uk

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row
Edinburgh
EH3 5LR
United Kingdom

Tel: 0131 552 7171

See website for contact details

www.rbge.org.uk

Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew

Richmond

Surrey

TW9 3AB

020 8332 5000

info@kew.org

www.rbgkew.org.uk

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Annex C


 

Sources of any other technical advice for gardeners and landscapers on

invasive non-native species

The Joint Committee for Landscape Industries is a technical committee and currently has representatives from the HTA, NFU, BALI, ILAM, The Landscape Institute, The Institute of Chartered Foresters and the Arboriculture Association. It has recently been restructured, meets four times a year and previously has been responsible for a number of guidelines that refer to plants in terms of handling.

www.the-hta.org.uk

www.nfu.org.uk

www.bali.co.uk

www.Ilam.co.uk

www.l-i.org.uk

www.charteredforesters.org

www.trees.org.uk

Japanese knotweed

www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment/knotweed

http://www.cabi-bioscience.org/html/japanese_knotweed_alliance.htm

www.capm.org.uk

Ponds

The Ponds Conservation Trust is a registered charity with a board of trustees, management committee and full-time staff. Trustees and committee members are appointed from the member and supporting organisations. They can offer pond conservation information and guidance through training courses, publications, lectures, demonstration ponds and their website.

www.pondstrust.org.uk

For guidance within Scotland on Ponds, Pools and Lochans

www.sepa.org.uk/guidance/hei/guidance.htm

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Annex D


 

Extract from Section 14B of Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

14B Guidance: non-native species

(1) The Scottish Ministers may issue guidance (or approve guidance issued by others) for the purpose of providing persons with recommendations, advice and information regarding-

(a) any animal of a type mentioned in subsection (1) or (1A) of section 14,

(b) any plant of a type mentioned in subsection (2) of that section or specified in an order under section 14A(1)(b)(i),

and may issue revisions of any guidance issued by them (or approve revisions of guidance issued by others).

(2) A person who fails to comply with any guidance issued or approved under subsection (1) is not by reason only of that failure liable in any criminal or civil proceedings.

(3) But any such guidance is admissible in evidence in such proceedings and a court may take account of any failure to comply with it in determining any questions in the proceedings.

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Annex E


 

References

Defra (2003) Review of non-native species policy, report of the working group.

( www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/resprog/findings/non-native/index.htm)

Kowarick, I. 1995. Time lags in biological invasions with regard to the success

and failure of alien species. pp15-38 in Pysek, P.K., Prach, M. Rejmarek and

P M Wade (eds) Plant invasions: General aspects and special problems.

SPB Academic Publishing, Amsterdam.

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[1] The text of section 14B is reproduced in Annex D for ease of reference.

[2] Invasive non-native species means a species introduced by human action outside its natural past or

present distribution and whose introduction and/or spread threatens biological diversity. (Working

Group report on Review of Non-native Species Policy. Defra. 2003)

[3] Extract from Working Group Report on Review of Non-native Species. Defra. 2003.

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