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Invasive plants

Cornwall's ecology and landscape is of national and international importance. Twenty-seven per cent of the county is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a further 24% as Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). Invasive plants threaten the native flora that is integral to the beauty of our countryside.

What makes an invasive plant?

Cornwall's landscape is highly managed. Our increased interest in gardening and exotic plants over the last 200 years has led to a great number of new species being introduced. Many have made Cornish gardens the envy of the world. But some species have made themselves at home and have become invasive. In their native home these plants may be well behaved due to different growing conditions. However, in the Cornish climate they have spread over the garden hedge and into the countryside. In some areas our native flora is being overtaken by these plants. Cornwall is currently pioneering work in the control of invasive alien weeds such as Japanese knotweed. There are also a few problematic native invasive weeds, such as common Ragwort. They require careful and co-ordinated management to limit their spread.

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