To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what money has been allocated in the past five years by his Department to research into the spread, control and eradication of heracleum mantegazzianum;(2) what money has been allocated in the past five years by his Department into educating the public of the dangers of contact with heracleum mantegazzianum.
[holding answer 22 October 1990]: I understand that the basic facts about the plant and methods for controlling it are well understood without further research. In February 1989 Scottish agricultural colleges published a leaflet "Giant Hogweed: The Problem and its Control" which gives clear advice on the biology of the plant, its dangers and methods of control. If particular local authorities consider that the scale of the problem in their area justifies action they have statutory powers available to them to undertake this.The plant is listed in part II of schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as a plant that must not be deliberately established in the wild. Under section 25 of the Act local authorities are required to publicise that fact.