Working with others
Why should I work with others?
Firstly, it is your decision and responsibility to manage any invasive plant species on your land. This also means that it is your neighbours’ responsibility to manage any invasive plant species on their property.
Secondly, many invasive plant species can easily be spread to and from your site and the problem may not be restricted to your site. Talking and working with others may help to provide a more coordinated response to managing invasive plant species in the longer term to reduce the risk of re-infestation. In the event, for example, a species such as Japanese knotweed spread from your land to an adjacent landowners land resulting in damage to their property or resulted in the devaluation of their land it could result in that landowner taking legal action against you.
Please note that if the invasive species is contained on your property, you may not need to work with your neighbours. For species such as Japanese knotweed even though their may be no evidence of growth on adjacent land it is important to be aware that the underground rhizome (root) system may extend into adjacent land if it is growing close to the boundary.
Working together to manage invasive plants can have the following benefits:
- It is more likely to deal with the cause of the infestation;
- A coordinated approach helps to prevent re-infestation or accidental spread between sites, particularly when dealing with linear corridors, such as rivers, roads or railway lines;
- The potential to share the cost of the management programme for example though sharing resources such as the cost of equipment;
- The potential to share best practice; and
- The potential to eradicate the target species from a wider area than would otherwise have been possible.
Who do I need to work with?
Who you need to work with will depend on the type and extent of management planned at the site, but could include:
Your next door neighbour: You should identify if you need to work with your neighbours. This will be particularly true if:
- The species is spreading from their land onto yours or vice versa.
- If the species straddles the landownership boundary or is close to it.
- If your control work risks affecting their property.
- There are Health and Safety requirements that dictate informing neighbouring landowners. For example the Pesticide Product label of some herbicides may require grazing to be excluded from the area following spraying for a number of weeks.
The basic advice is to talk to your neighbours in the first instance and alert them to the issues. If this does not encourage them to manage the species, you must remember that it is their responsibility to manage invasive plant species on their own land. Generally speaking, you cannot enter their land without permission and you should not try to control a species without their express permission. You should however, record your attempts to get your neighbour to manage the problem and, if the problem persists, you should seek legal advice. This is particularly relevant if the species represents a human health risk or if it is impacting on the structure / value of your property.
Other landowners: You should work with other landowners in proximity to your site to identify potential contamination routes to the site and mitigate against these;
Regulators: Regulators may have to be consulted in some cases to ensure that your planned works are in line with legislative requirements. For example if the species which you intend to control is within a designated site (i.e. ASSIs, SACs or SPAs) or the control works may impact upon the designated site features you should seek advice from NIEA or NPWS about works planned or if the works may impact upon a protected species a license maybe required prior to the works commencing.
Specialist contractors: You may need to employ a specialist contractor to successfully and safely carry out the work. If this is the case, you should ensure that you work closely with your contractor and that the work is specified to achieve the goals you wish to achieve. Invasive Species Ireland cannot recommend one company over another or validate or verify the quality of their work. Any agreement for eradication lies between the landowner and the contractor undertaking the work. We would advise that quotations to undertake the work are sought from a range of companies. It is recommended to request details, during the quotation process, of the herbicide to be used (both brand name and active ingredient), the concentration in grams per litre (g/l) of active ingredient in the product, the timing of application, evidence of qualifications (e.g. PA1, PA6 etc), stipulate environmental conditions for spraying works to take place as per the Pesticide Product Label and seek references if appropriate of previous control works. In addition you should clarify if the price quoted is for a one off spray, for multiple sprays during the growing season or an eradication rate over the entire life time of the control works.
Local authority: Talk to your local authority to identify if there are other invasive species management projects ongoing or planned in your local area;
Local voluntary groups: Some groups may be able to provide volunteers to help remove invasive plant species (e.g. Himalayan balsam, Rhododendron).