HC Deb 12 November 2003 vol 413 cc297-8W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to amend the Wildlife and Countryside

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Act 1981 to make it a legal obligation on landowners to clear Japanese knotweed when it spreads within a site. [134227]

Mr. Bradshaw

Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence for any person to plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild any plant listed in Schedule 9 of the Act, including Japanese knotweed. I have no current plans to amend the Act as the hon. Gentleman proposes.

The Rural White Paper for England "Our Countryside; Our Future" made a commitment to review the provisions of Part 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with a view to rationalising the identification and protection of rare and endangered species. This Department aims to consult on this in the near future.