Following a report in the Bolton News, there has been increased concern about giant hogweed in Bolton.
Giant hogweed is a non-native invasive species. When sap from giant hogweed touches your skin, it can cause skin inflammation, blisters, and severe burns, potentially even third-degree burns that could require a skin graft.
It is advised that everyone should avoid giant hogweed, especially children.
Giant hogweed is similar to other plants, but there are some key differences, so it’s important that you know how to identify it. Have a look at the Woodland Trust’s blog for detailed information: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/06/giant-hogweed-facts/
I contacted Bolton Council’s Environmental Services to ask where giant hogweed is prevalent in Bolton and what the Council is doing to control it/remove it.
A Council officer informed me that, in general, it populates the river valleys along the Coral and Irwell, and that “our own main areas of concern are beside the rivers Tonge and Croal in Leverhulme and Moses Gate Country Park.”
I know that Moses Gate Country Park is a popular destination at the moment for people in Bolton South East, especially for walkers and families who want to get out of the house for some fresh air, so if you do go down there please keep an eye out for giant hogweed.
In terms of removing the giant hogweed, the Council authorities do act to remove it when they are made aware of it. Despite the current lack of resources due to the coronavirus crisis and repeated cuts to their funding, the Council has already carried out a programme of eradication this spring and will continue to treat new plants in parks and our open spaces as a matter of urgency.
If you spot giant hogweed, then please report it to the Council’s Environmental Services at: email@example.com