What is it and what to do if you find it.

Giant hogweed isn't native to the UK. It can be identified using the guide on the Non-Native Species Secretariat website. It's easily confused with the much smaller native, common hogweed and cow parsley. Giant hogweed mainly grows next to water, in damp meadows or on derelict land.

Don't touch giant hogweed

The sap can cause painful burns and make your skin sensitive to strong sunlight. If you're affected by it, wash the area with soapy water and contact your doctor for advice.

On land around a railway

Contact Network Rail Go to https://www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/contact-us/ (opens new window) if you find giant hogweed next to a railway line, embankment or station. Ask them to treat the problem.

On your property

Get information about how to control and dispose of giant hogweed Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-the-spread-of-harmful-invasive-and-non-native-plants#prevent-the-spread-of-invasive-non-native-plants (opens new window) on GOV.UK.

You must not:

  • put any part of it in your green garden waste bin, black wheelie bin or compost bin
  • take it to a tip, recycling centre or waste transfer station
  • dump or fly-tip cuttings

You must stop giant hogweed spreading from your land. You could be prosecuted if you allow it to spread onto someone else's property.

On your neighbour's property

If you're concerned that giant hogweed on your neighbour's land might spread onto your land, try and speak to them, they might not realise there's an issue.

If this doesn't work, you could involve the Resolve West. They use trained mediators to get neighbours together to sort out issues. The service is free and impartial.

If the issue is still not sorted out, you could consider taking legal action. See take action through the courts Go to https://www.gov.uk/how-to-resolve-neighbour-disputes/take-action-through-the-courts (opens new window) on GOV.UK.

In a park, on a river bank or other council land

Report giant hogweed in a park, on a river bank or other council land using the problem in a park or open space form.

Report a problem in a park or open space