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Giant Hogweed infestation prevents access to picturesque site Giant Hogweed Eradication - Market Bosworth

Two Week Time Frame
Sedgemere Market Bosworth
On-site Burial

In the midst of the the COVID-19 lockdown, a well-known residential housing developer requested an invasive species walkover survey on land reserved for development in Market Bosworth.

The invasive species that immediately captured our attention was Giant Hogweed. The persistent and harmful nature of this weed has led to it being included in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside act 1981. The toxic sap can cause severe and painful blisters on contact with skin, as well as being toxic to grazing animals. It also out competes native flora meaning a decrease in biodiversity. Invasive species like this often slow progress for developers, but in this instance the client wasn’t even able to gain access for their initial surveys works. It was vital the infestation was removed in its entirety to make the site safe.

Our surveyor was met with 3,000m2 of the  2.5 metre towering hogweed, not far off double their height and although dangerous you can’t help but be impressed.. Giant Hogweed can grow up to 5 metres tall with huge heads of white flowers than can measure up to a metre in diameter.

The site was approximately five hectares, set in a picturesque in location close to a canal, where the infestation had most likely spread from.

Following initial surveys, Ebsford began a large-scale excavation and on-site burial of the Giant Hogweed infestations. This technique was identified as the most cost-effective method and with the availability of open space on the south side it was ideal for burial.

Scrapes of the infested area established the extent of the infestation. Excavations then commenced in 300mm layers before being loaded onto a dumper and transported to the stockpile area, until all contaminated material had been removed.

The dimensions of the burial pit were approximately 20x20x4.5m, made large enough to hold the contaminated material and  the necessary 2m of clean cover and still offer enough depth to incorporate the client’s attenuation pond

The area was CAT scanned prior to excavations commencing and a permit to dig was issued. One side of the pit was excavated in a way that created access for the dumpers to drive directly into the pit and deposit the material.

Ebsford faced additional challenges with the national lockdown, however equipment delays and a reduced workforce  didn’t prevent Ebsfordhanding back a safe and clean site in just over a week.. Now that  biosecurity and health risks associated with the species were fully mitigated, the client could progress their development on the size with added assurancethat Ebsford will carry out spot treatment and monitoring visits throughout 2021 and 2022 to ensure no re-growth occurs.


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