Concerns over ‘dangerous plants’ growing rife in Horsham area

Concerns are being raised about giant hogweed - known as Britain’s most dangerous plant - growing ‘out of control’ in the Horsham area.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:21 pm

Wendy Corbett, who lives in Warnham, says there are a number of the plants growing in the village and others have been reported in Langhurst Wood Road in Horsham

Wendy said: “It seems to be completely out of control. I know it has been around for many years, but it is now rife.”

She is calling for something to be done to remove the plants before they spread even more.

Giant Hogweed - dubbed Britain's most dangerous plant - in Station Road, Warnham
Giant Hogweed - dubbed Britain's most dangerous plant - in Station Road, Warnham

But West Sussex County Council says it is already taking action to eradicate the weed.

Giant hogweed - Heracleum mantegazzianum - is not native to the UK but originates from the Caucasus Mountains and Central Asia.

It was first introduced to Britain as a decorative plant in the 19th century but it escaped and naturalised in the wild.

Its sap contains furocoumarin which can cause burns. It makes the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight.

The Woodland Trust advises: “If the sap gets onto your skin, then you are exposed to sun, your skin can blister badly and blistering can recur over months and even years.”

The plant has been spotted growing along Bailing Hill Road and Station Road in Warnham - but West Sussex County Council says it is dealing with the problem.

A spokesperson said: “We use specialist treatment methods for harmful weeds, such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed.

“Treatments were already planned for all the areas mentioned, apart from Bailing Hill Road, which does not appear to have been reported.

“If residents notice any of these weeds on the highway, they are urged to please report this directly to us online via https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/make-an-enquiry-or-report-a-problem-with-a-road-or-pavement/make-an-enquiry-about-a-road-or-pavement/ so we have all the details needed to investigate.

“If the weeds are on private property, then these would be the landowner’s responsibility.”