Defra launches second phase of Be Pond Wise invasives campaign to garden centres

Defra, the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly Government have launched the second phase of the Be Plant Wise campaign to raise awareness of the damage caused by invasive aquatic plants at a time when pond owners may be thinking about tidying their ponds ready for winter.

A Defra representative said: "At this time of year gardeners are clearing ponds ready for winter and we want to drum in the message about unwanted pond waste and remind people they should still be careful about dumping it to stop invasive species spreading."

Defra is asking garden centres and growers to tell customers that they should compost unwanted plants properly dispose carefully of waste pond water away from streams, rivers, ponds or lakes to help protect the environment and save the nation money.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: "It’s important we raise awareness and encourage pond owners to be more plant wise at this time of year when they are starting to think about tidying their ponds. Many retailers are already taking steps to ensure people know what they’re buying and advising customers on how to dispose of unwanted pond waste properly.

He cited plants such as floating pennywort, New Zealand pigmyweed, water-primrose, parrot’s feather and water fern as the worst, adding that the Environment Agency spent £510,260 on controlling 300 km of floating pennywort in 2009.

Pond owners are advised to:

  • Compost with care – make sure you dispose of the whole plant properly and no fragments break away; dispose of waste pond and fish tank water away from streams, rivers, ponds or lakes;
  • Stop the spread – be careful not to introduce invasive species into the wild, even accidentally, as you could be breaking the law; and
  • Know what you grow – pick the right plants for your pond and manage them carefully. Choose non-invasive species where possible.
For more on the Be Plant Wise campaign, click here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

Growers are waking up to the push towards cutting plastic use and are increasingly looking for substitutes and alternative methods.

What does the future hold for online garden retail sales?

What does the future hold for online garden retail sales?

The online garden centre market is often cited as a great growth opportunity for garden centres, but how well are bricks-and-mortar retailers tackling the internet generation?

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy