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Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

Invasive, non-native species

Invasive non-native species are considered to pose one of the greatest threats not just to biodiversity but also to the economic well-being of our planet.

In Britain approximately £1.7billion is spent every single year on trying to tackle the problem of invasive non-native species. We believe the actual cost is far greater as the ‘indirect costs’ associated with invasive species, such as damage to ecosystem service provision, are not accounted for in this figure. The damage to our wildlife and waterways has been well documented - millions of pounds are spent clearing them from congested ponds and rivers, with delicate rare water flowers such as starfruit Damasonium alisma pushed to extinction under carpets of New Zealand pygmyweed. This invasive curly waterweed is now found in 400 hectads (10km squares) across Britain. Yet, their rate of spread continues to increase as does the number entering Britain.

Invasives plants damage the environment in a number of ways. They out-compete our native flora for light, space and nutrients. They can reduce the light and heat reaching lower-growing plants, alter rates of nutrient cycling, or (in freshwater habitats) cause large changes in the amount of oxygen available, all of which can be harmful to other plants and animals. The environmental damage caused by invasive non-native plants can be irreversible and destroy many of our national natural treasures, including our Important Plant Areas. In fact 30% of Important Plant Areas have been found to have invasive species in them.

Stopping the sale of invasive water plants will end future infestations of garden ponds and the inevitable breakouts into our countryside.

Which plants should I look out for/avoid?


© GBNNSS

© GBNNSS

The Infamous Five
Five non-native, invasive aquatic plants were banned from sale on 1st April 2014. Find out what they are and what they look like.

The Dirty Dozen
Twelve more non-native, invasive plants that cause damage to our countryside and native species. 



Help and advice


© GBNNSS

© GBNNSS

What is an invasive non-native plant?
What do I do if I own invasive non-native species?
How can I remove them safely?
What plants can I use instead?
What can I do to help?
What is the law with regards these plants?