Policy & Legislation

Invasive Species
Noxious Weeds
Usage of Pesticides

Please be aware that the following is a summarisation of key pieces of legislation and is presented for information purposes only. The following is non-exhaustive and the reader should refer to the relevant sources for full text and related relevant legislation (e.g., EU ec.europa.eu/, Ireland www.irishstatutebook.ie/)

Invasive Species

At a European level, Ireland has signed up to a number of treaties and conventions, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. Such treaties and conventions require the Member States to address the issue of invasive alien species. This has been implemented through the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/2011). A black list of unwanted species is set out in the Regulations. The plant species on this list are displayed in the table below.

Common name

Scientific name

Common name

Scientific name

American Skunk Cabbage

Lysichiton americanus

Large flowered Waterweed

Egeria densa

Brazilian Giant Rhubarb

Gunnera manicata

Mile a Minute Weed

Persicaria perfoliata

Broad Leaved Rush

Juncus planifolius

New Zealand Pigmyweed

Crassula helmsii

Cape Pondweed

Aponogeton distachyos

Parrots Feather

Myriophyllum aquaticum

Cord Grasses

Spartina(all species &hybrids)

Red Alga

Grateloupia doryphora

Curly Waterweed

Lagarosiphon major


Rhododendron ponticum

Dwarf Eelgrass

Zostera japonica


Rubus spectabilis


Cabomba caroliniana

Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides

Floating Pennywort

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides

Spanish bluebell

Hyacinthoides hispanica

Fringed Water Lily

Nymphoides peltata

Three Cornered Leek

Allium triquetrum

Giant Hogweed

Heracleum mantegazzianum


Undaria pinnatifida

Giant Knotweed

Fallopia sachalinensis

Water Chestnut

Trapa natans

Giant Rhubarb

Gunnera tinctoria

Water Fern

Azolla filiculoides

Giant Salvinia

Salvinia molesta

Water Lettuce

Pistia stratiotes

Himalayan Balsam

Impatiens glandulifera

Water Primrose

Ludwigia(all species)

Himalayan Knotweed

Persicaria wallichii


Elodea(all species)

Hottentot Fig

Carpobrotus edulis


Sargassum muticum

Japanese Knotweed

Fallopia japonica


At a national level, the two regulations that deal specifically with this lists of species are:

  • Regulation 49: Prohibition on introduction and dispersal of certain species
  • Regulation 50: Prohibition on dealing in and keeping certain species (Regulation 50 is not yet in effect) 

Regulation 49 

49 (2). Save in accordance with a licence granted under paragraph (7), any person who plants, disperses, allows, or causes to disperse, spreads or otherwise causes to grow in any place specified in relation to such plant in the third column of Part 1 of the Third Schedule, any plant which is included in Part 1 of the Third Schedule, shall be guilty of an offence.

49 (3). Subject to paragraph (4), it shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under paragraph (1) or (2) to prove that the accused took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

Regulation 50 

‘an offence to or intend to; import; buy; sell; breed; reproduce or propagate; offer or expose for sale; advertise; publish a price list; transport; and distribute any plant species or vector material listed in the Third Schedule’. Non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50 are included in the third schedule of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I 477 of 2011. The invasive species listed in the Third Schedule include: Japanese Knotweed, Giant Knotweed, Giant Rhubarb, Himalayan Balsam, Himalayan Knotweed, Bohemian Knotweed and Rhododendron. The vector material (i.e. facilitates spread), referred to in the regulations (Third Schedule Part 3) which applies to Knotweed species is: “Soil or spoil taken from places infested with Japanese Knotweed, Giant Knotweed or their Hybrid Bohemian Knotweed” The Waste Management Act 1996, as amended and associated regulations must be complied with if Japanese Knotweed contaminated material is to be moved off site. It is a requirement to dispose of this material to a fully licenced wasted facility, capable of accepting such contaminated material. This disposal requirement applies to all Japanese Knotweed material including untreated and treated plant material. It also applies to soil containing the plant material, i.e. a 7m radius around the above ground stand and up to 3m deep below the stand, this is site specific. If Japanese Knotweed contaminated material is removed off site it will require a licence from the National Parks and Wildlife Service in advance of any removal, in accordance with the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477)

This Management Plan and all future revisions of this plan should be kept for records and/or future site owners.

Noxious Weeds

Current legislation in Ireland pertaining to noxious weeds dates from 1936 when the Noxious Weed Act was enacted (repealing the Weeds and Agricultural Seeds (Ireland) Act, 1909). The Act aimed to enforce the control of particular weed species by individual landowners or managers by placing the onus of control on them. The owner, occupier, user or manager of lands on which noxious weeds are growing is liable, upon conviction, to a fine. 

In the case of the verges, medians and other landscaped areas of public roads, the local authority charged with the maintenance of such roads is responsible under the Act. Following the enactment of the Act, a number of Orders were made relating to specific plants, and these are as follows:

  • Noxious Weeds (Thistle, Ragwort, and Dock) Order, 1937 (S.I. No. 103 of 1937);
  • Noxious Weeds (Common Barberry) Order, 1958 (S.I. No. 120 of 1958);
  • Noxious Weeds (Male Wild Hop Plant) Order, 1965 (S.I. No. 189 of 1965); 
  • Noxious Weeds (Wild Oat) Order, 1973 (S.I. No. 194 of 1973).
  • The Noxious Weeds (Thistle, Ragwort, and Dock) Order, 1937, (S.I. No. 103 of 1937) does not detail the specific species for which control is mandatory. The interpretation by Fleming J. (2008) of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food defines the noxious species as the spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and the creeping or field thistle (C. arvense), common ragwort (Senecio jacobea) and two species of dock, the curled dock (Rumex crispus) and the broad-leaved dock (Rumex obtusifolius). It should be noted that there are numerous other species of thistle, ragwort and dock that are not classified as noxious weeds. 

(Source: National Roads Authority Guidelines on the management of noxious weeds and non-native invasive plant speies on National roads Revision 1, December 2010)

Usage of Pesticides

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive (2009/128/EC) establishes a framework for the sustainable use of pesticides. The Directive was transposed into Irish law by SI No. 155 of 2012, European Communities (Sustainable Use of Pesticides) Regulations 2012. The regulations apply to all professional users of pesticides and states :

5. (1) Subject to paragraph (2) a professional user of pesticides shall

  1. hold a certificate confirming that the professional user has been trained to a standard determined by the Minister in the subjects listed in Annex I of the Directive, and 
  2. comply with any additional training requirements as determined by the Minister.”

Granig, Minane Bridge, Co. Cork.
+353 21 2019732 / +353 87 4574112


Contact us

Japanese Knotweed Ireland Ltd.



51 Bracken Road, Sandyford, D18 CV48
+353 1 6991062 / +353 86 3620047





Contact us

Japanese Knotweed Ireland Ltd.




Granig, Minane Bridge, Co. Cork.
+353 21 2019732 / +353 87 4574112



51 Bracken Road, Sandyford, D18 CV48
+353 1 6991062 / +353 86 3620047