A large stand of Giant Hogweed exists in a small patch of woodland opposite Dobbies Garden Centre at Ayr. Despite being some distance from the river we didn’t feel that we could allow this to develop further untreated as it is spreading from here in all directions. Last week we noticed plants on the A77 about 1/4 mile away and the gardens of cottages just across the road have recently become infested.
We decided (with permission) to spray this area although it is late in the season and seed is starting to set. At least this spraying should make it easier to tackle the woodland next spring before the plant gets too big. As can be seen in the photos below, there are increased health and safety issues when dealing with mature plants and this is not really an acceptable option for us except in extreme circumstances and with great care.
The photos illustrate the potential of the plant to reach incredible heights and also the huge seed potential. We couldn’t reach the tallest plants safely but the ones in the photo were nearly 4m high! Most plants have been sprayed and are starting to wilt. We will post a follow up once things have been completed.