Invasive weeds pose threat to UK waterways

Japanese knotweed is one of the worst offenders for choking canals, rivers and towpaths, according to British Waterways.

The organisation has revealed the 12 non-native species that are causing the most damage - and half of them are invasive plants.

Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, Australian swamp stonecrop, Himalayan balsam, water fern and floating pennywort are contributing towards £1m a year costs of dealing with the problem.

British Waterways' national ecologist Chris John said: "With no natural predators to control them they can overwhelm wildlife, channels, banks and towpaths." Chinese mitten crab and zander are among the worst offending animals across the waterway network, he added.


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