Invasive plant which is harmful to humans spotted

Giant Hogweed: Contact with the plant, particularly the sap, can lead to severe blistering and scarring. Picture by Mike Williams.

Giant Hogweed: Contact with the plant, particularly the sap, can lead to severe blistering and scarring. Picture by Mike Williams.

First published in Local

REDDITCH and Bromsgrove could soon be overtaken by Giant Hogweed, an invasive species of plant which can cause harm to human health.

The plant, classed as an invasive non-native species and in the same category as Japanese Knotweed, has been spotted along the carriageway of the A448 Bromsgrove Highway between Foxlydiate Bridge and Tardebigge.

Spotted by Mike Williams it is more than 8ft tall and contact with the plant, particularly the sap, can lead to severe blistering and scarring.

Affected skin may remain sensitive for several years.

Katrina Roche from Kew Royal Botanic Gardens confirmed that it could be Giant Hogweed.

As well as causing harm to people, it can cause problems for native UK species and reduce biodiversity (the variety of living organisms).

Invasive species can also block footpaths and damage concrete, tarmac, flood defences and the stability of river banks.

Residents are being urged to take great care.

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