Harmful & Noxious Weeds Notice

Noxious weeds in Croyde and Georgeham!

It’s the ones growing on your land that you need to keep an eye on. While it is not an offence to allow the following ten “harmful weeds” and “invasive non-native plants” to grow on your land, it is necessary to prevent them spreading on to other people’s property or into the wild. Failure to control these species spreading from your land can result in a fine or prosecution.

Harmful weeds (Weeds Act 1959)

Common Ragwort Senecio Jacobaea is poisonous to horses, cattle, and sheep, hence really noxious!
In the first year after a seed germinates ragwort forms a rosette of leaves as in the photo below:

In its second year it produces yellow flowers and then a mass of seeds which blow away. It is fairly easy to pull up the plants before they set seed, or you can cut them down, and/or burn them on site, or, if you are qualified and certified to do so, spray them with herbicide.

Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense spreads by seed and by underground stems:

Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare forms a first year rosette and seed the next year. Cutting before set seed is probably the best method of preventing spread. Both are not poisonous but clearly not desirable on grazed land or in hay:

Broad–leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius and Curled Dock Rumex crispus are also classed as harmful weeds. They are difficult to eliminate but cutting before seeding will stop them spreading to neighbours’ land.

Invasive non-native plants (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981)

Japanese Knotweed Fallopia japonica is perennial and spreads through underground stems (rhizomes) and can regrow from small fragments even though it does not set seed. It is very invasive. Digging out is possible, but as rhizomes grow deeply, regrowth usually occurs which needs destroying. This method also creates problems over disposal as Japanese knotweed is classed as ‘controlled waste’ under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites. Alternatively, it can be destroyed on site by cutting or digging it repeatedly and burning it when dry. In this way the energy reserves in the remaining underground parts will be gradually exhausted; a process which may, however, take several seasons. Similarly treatment with herbicides will require several repeated applications. On no account should Japanese knotweed be included with normal household waste or put out in green waste collection schemes.

Himalayan Balsam is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens..
Himalayan Balsam grows rapidly from seed and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. It is fairly easy to pull up the plants before they set seed, or you can cut them down, or burn them on site, or, if you are qualified and certified to do so, spray them with herbicide. Before using weedkillers alongside waterways it is necessary to contact the Environment Agency. Additional weed seedlings will germinate after the parent plants are killed off so repeat treatments are necessary.

Rhododendron ponticum is a familiar species which should be controlled.

Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum is not known to be in the parish but watch out as it has been seen near Combe Martin, see www.planttracker.org.uk

New Zealand Pigmyweed Crassula helmsi is an aquatic plant not known to be in the parish or county.

For more detail about the law and control measures click on www.gov.uk

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Dr Eirene Williams CEnv FCIEEM(Rtd)
Robber’s Hall
North Devon
EX33 1PL

T. 01271 890367

E. eirenendw@aol.com

Parish Council Response to Boundary Commission

2 October 2017

By email to reviews@lgbce.org.uk

The Review Officer (North Devon)
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14th floor
Millbank Tower


Dear Sir / Madam


Our proposal, in the light of the need of North Devon Council to redraw the Wards and lose 2 councillors, is that Knowle should be added to the current unit of the Parishes of Georgeham (including Croyde), Mortehoe / Woolacombe and West Down, to give the desired number of electors. Knowle and West Down are neighbours.

We understand there is a different proposal from North Devon Council. This involves splitting the current Ward and attaching Georgeham Parish to Braunton, further subdividing our Parish and splitting Croyde from Georgeham and placing these settlements into 2 different Braunton Wards, East and West.

Our Parish strongly disagrees with this proposal. We, like Mortehoe / Woolacombe, are both coastal parishes sharing most of the same problems and amenities – surfing beaches, an enormous influx of seasonal visitors, second homes, narrow roads, national Trust and AONB sites.

Georgeham Parish, which contains the two villages of Georgeham and Croyde and five hamlets has been a unit since 1261. We work hard to remain a community to function as a major holiday destination as well as having a resident community, with churches, a primary school, football team, shared leisure facilities, clubs etc. We have a parish magazine and are in the process of submitting a Neighbourhood Plan.

Our challenges and interests differ from those of Braunton. We feel that our interests could conflict with those of Braunton and we would lose the representation of those interests at District level, especially with the Parish being split between two different Braunton Councillors.

We note that the Commission wishes to “ensure that the new council Wards reflect as far as possible the interests and identities of communities across North Devon” and beg that you will consider our proposal, and our objections to the alternative, in this light.

We feel that while numerically proportional representation is needed nationally, community representation is more important locally.

Our proposal, to add Knowle to our current Ward, would satisfy both electoral number needs and those of our community.

Yours faithfully

Sue Squire

Parish Clerk








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