Wednesday, 02 December 2020

£5,000 to eliminate poisonous alien plant

GIANT hogweed has been discovered in Benson.

GIANT hogweed has been discovered in Benson.

The plant, which is poisonous and can cause skin blistering and even blindness, was discovered in Millbrook Mead alongside Ewelme Brook, south-west of the A4074.

A meeting of Benson Parish Council heard the patch of hogweed was “quite large” and if left would spread.

Councillor Patricia Baylis said: “It really needs handling quite urgently.

“The sap of the giant hogweed can cause scarring, blistering and blindness if it gets in the eye. It’s becoming quite a menace in the area.”

She said it would cost up to £5,000 plus VAT for a professional company to get rid of the plant, which would take three years with a further two years of monitoring.

The area would be fenced off and warning signs put up.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, giant hogweed is an invasive alien plant which can reach more than 10ft in height.

If a human comes into contact with the sap they can suffer photosensitivity, where the skin becomes very sensitive to sunlight and may suffer blistering and scarring.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 made it an offence to cause giant hogweed to grow in the wild in England and Wales and councils often take action to remove infestations in public areas.

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