Sunday, 26 October 2014

ASBOs for orchard owners.

The UK Government is introducing new rules aimed at preventing the spread of invasive alien plants. Landowners are exposed to 2500 GBP fines and a criminal conviction if they don't control these plants on their land. The focus is on Japanese Knotweed and also Giant Hogweed. However they've also included Himalayan Balsam in the scope of the legislation. 

We have found some Himalayan Balsam on our orchard plot and during the year have taken action to carefully remove the plants when we find them. The problem is largely under control. The seeds seem to be carried to the field along the route of the Ecclesbourne river. There are large infestations both upstream and downstream of our stretch of the river which act as a source so it is going to be a continual process of eradication. I do wonder how the adjoining land owners/tenants will deal with their infestations. As we're on the edge of a residential area there is a risk of ASBOs (Antisocial Behaviour Orders) and a criminal record.

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