RHS raises alarm bell over proposed EU wide ban on species listed as invasive in one country

The RHS has expressed its concern during a House of Commons Environment Audit Committee meeting into invasive non-native species, about proposed EU regulation that would give the authorities the power to enter properties to destroy or eradicate invasive non-native plants deemed to be of concern to the EU.

The new regulation, which will be voted on by the European Parliament in April, will effectively ban species of plants deemed to be of ‘Union Concern’ from being brought into the EU; reproduced (for instance, set seed in the case of plants); transported within the EU, or even possessed.

This ban on possession goes far beyond the existing regulation on invasive non-native species in England, although this power already exists in Scotland. The Scottish Wildlife and Natural Environment Act grants powers to enter properties to destroy suspect plants, although there is no ban on possession.

A cap of 50 organisms on the list of species of Union Concern was part of the original proposal, but this was rejected by most EU member states, leaving it currently unclear how many species will be subject to the ban, or the process for including species on the list.

The RHS said: "While the RHS welcomes sensible and proportionate steps to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species it believes this new regulation is too rigid, especially in its stipulation that a species listed as invasive in one EU country would be ‘banned’ in all countries, regardless of whether or not they posed a threat.

"The RHS is keen to see any EU Regulation recognise regional differences to avoid ornamental plants which pose no threat in the UK, being banned because they are considered a problem in other EU countries."

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.

Pitches - seeds and consumables

Pitches - seeds and consumables

The right seeding and inputs are essential for keeping grass in top condition and ensuring that pitches look and perform at their best, says Sally Drury.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Horticulture could benefit from streamlining in the supply chain.

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

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

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles